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Beatles / Bootleg Recordings 1963

bootlegs1963

After something of a false start, Apple Corps/Universal have today issued 59 previously unreleased recordings by The Beatles consisting of studio outtakes and live material from 1963.

We should clarify straight off the bat, that this is not a deluxe box set; indeed, it’s not being released physically on any format. Bootleg Recordings 1963 (as this collection is dubbed) is a digital-only affair and can only be bought via iTunes. But hey, it is The Beatles, so coverage here is justified!

The Beatles’ Anthology albums (themselves nearly 20 years old) were the one and only time in the last 50 years that Fab Four studio outtakes have been officially released, so to see something akin to The Holy Grail almost casually uploaded onto (the other) Apple’s iTunes servers takes a while to get your head around.

But that is what has happened. Tracks made available include work-in-progress from Please Please Me and With The Beatles, and early takes of the group’s first (official) UK number one From Me To You and its B-side Thank You Girl. The 1963 version of The One After 909 (which famously went unreleased until Paul and John dusted it down for Let It Be six years later) is another notable inclusion (takes 1&2) in this Beatles Bootleg bundle.

Into total, 15 studio tracks are issued followed by an enormous amount of what you might call Live at the BBC ‘the leftovers’ – tracks recorded at the BBC radio studios that haven’t appeared on the official releases (1994 and 2013) probably to avoid duplication and in some cases because the sound quality is not up to par. So we get three Love Me Dos, four A Taste Of Honeys and a couple of Do You Want To Know A Secrets amongst the 42 Beeb tracks. A special treat at the end of the Bootleg Recordings are demo versions of Bad To Me and I’m In Love, two Lennon-McCartney songs given to other groups (Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas and The Fourmost, respectively).

As a fan of physical media the first reaction is ‘why couldn’t they have released this is a proper box set’, but in truth, the digital domain is somehow a more forgiving environment for this Merseybeat memory dump; running orders don’t need to be fretted over (or are rendered irrelevant by the medium), and no one is going to complain about multiple versions of the same track because you just can just download the ones you want. In short, Apple don’t need to think  about it too much, because the truth of the matter seems to be that they would probably rather not do this at all. The current thinking is that this Bootleg Recordings 1963 release is all about retaining copyright of the material once it’s over 50 years old. Previously released material is now protected for 70 years (in Europe), but unreleased material is not afforded the same protection and becomes public domain. The solution? Release it.

And that is what Apple/Universal have done today. The Anthology projects of the 1990s were studies in planning, hype, marketing, coordination and global brand enhancement. Three multi-formatted double albums spread over a year with the small matter of a six-part companion TV documentary (and later a hardback book). By comparison Bootleg Recordings 1963 is the polar opposite. No hype, no build-up, no advertising, no ‘tie-ins’ – just a bucketful of Beatles’ rarities falling onto the unsuspecting Mop Top fan as they go about their daily business.

If there are no changes in the copyright law, then surely we can look forward to similar Beatles Bootleg recordings in our Christmas stockings over the next seven years.

Bootleg Recordings 1963 is released globally via iTunes today and is available to download in many territories already. 



Track listing

  • 1. There’s A Place (Studio Outtake / Takes 5 & 6) (2:19)
  • 2. There’s A Place (Studio Outtake / Take 8) (1:58)
  • 3. There’s A Place (Studio Outtake / Take 9) (2:04)
  • 4. Do You Want To Known A Secret (Studio Outtake / Take 7) (2:17)
  • 5. A Taste Of Honey (Studio Outtake / Take 6) (2:12)
  • 6. I Saw Her Standing There (Studio Outtake / Take 2) (3:07)
  • 7. Misery (Studio Outtake / Take 1) (1:54)
  • 8. Misery (Studio Outtake / Take 7) (1:56)
  • 9. From Me To You (Studio Outtake / Takes 1 & 2) (3:24)
  • 10. From Me To You (Studio Outtake / Take 5) (2:17)
  • 11. Thank You Girl (Studio Outtake / Take 1) (2:09)
  • 12. Thank You Girl (Studio Outtake / Take 5) (2:04)
  • 13. One After 909 (Studio Outtake / Takes 1 & 2) (4:29)
  • 14. Hold Me Tight (Studio Outtake / Take 21) (2:42)
  • 15. Money (That’s What I Want) (Studio Outtake) (2:48)
  • 16. Some Other Guy (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th Jan, 1963) (2:02)
  • 17. Love Me Do (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th Jan, 1963) (2:31)
  • 18. Too Much Monkey Business (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th Jan, 1963) (1:50)
  • 19. I Saw Her Standing There (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 16th Mar, 1963) (2:38)
  • 20. Do You Want To Know A Secret (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th Jan, 1963) (1:50)
  • 21. From Me To You (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th Jan, 1963) (1:54)
  • 22. I Got To Find My Baby (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 26th Jan, 1963) (1:59)
  • 23. Roll Over Beethoven (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 29th June, 1963) (2:29)
  • 24. A Taste Of Honey (Live At BBC For “Easy Beat” / 23rd June, 1963) (2:01)
  • 25. Love Me Do (Live At BBC For “Easy Beat” / 20th Oct, 1963) (2:29)
  • 26. Please Please Me (Live At BBC For “Easy Beat” / 20th Oct, 1963) (2:08)
  • 27. She Loves You (Live At BBC For “Easy Beat” / 20th Oct, 1963) (2:29)
  • 28. I Want To Hold Your Hand (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 21st Dec, 1963) (2:19)
  • 29. Till There Was You (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 21st Dec, 1963) (2:16)
  • 30. Roll Over Beethoveen (Live At BBC For “Saturday Club” / 21st Dec, 1963) (2:16)
  • 31. You Really Got A Hold On Me (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 4th June, 1963) (2:54)
  • 32. The Hippy Hippy Shake (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 4th June, 1963) (1:43)
  • 33. Till There Was You (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” /11th June, 1963) (2:14)
  • 34. A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 18th June, 1963) (2:06)
  • 35. A Taste Of Honey (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 18th June, 1963) (1:56)
  • 36. Money (That’s What I Want) (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 18th June, 1963) (2:41)
  • 37. Anna (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 25th June, 1963) (3:02)
  • 38. Love Me Do (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th Sep, 1963) (2:29)
  • 39. She Loves You (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 24th Sep, 1963) (2:16)
  • 40. I’ll Get You (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th Sep, 1963) (2:05)
  • 41. A Taste Of Honey (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th Sep, 1963) (2:00)
  • 42. Boys (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 17th Sep, 1963) (2:12)
  • 43. Chains (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 17th Sep, 1963) (2:22)
  • 44. You Really Got A Hold On Me (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 17th Sep, 1963) (2:57)
  • 45. I Saw Her Standing There (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 24th Sep, 1963) (2:41)
  • 46. She Loves You (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 10th Sep, 1963) (2:15)
  • 47. Twist And Shout (Live At BBC For “Pop Go The Beatles” / 24th Sep, 1963) (2:36)
  • 48. Do You Want To Know A Secret (Live At BBC For “Here We Go” / 12th March, 1963) (1:55)
  • 49. Please Please Me (Live At BBC For “Here We Go” / 12th March, 1963) (1:57)
  • 50. Long Tall Sally (Live At BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963) (1:49)
  • 51. Chains (Live At BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963) (2:23)
  • 52. Boys (Live At BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963) (1:53)
  • 53. A Taste Of Honey (Live At BBC For “Side By Side” / 13th May, 1963) (2:04)
  • 54. Roll Over Beethoven (Live At BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th Dec, 1963) (2:17)
  • 55. All My Loving (Live At BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th Dec, 1963) (2:06)
  • 56. She Loves You (Live At BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th Dec, 1963) (2:21)
  • 57. Till There Was You (Live At BBC For “From Us To You” / 26th Dec, 1963) (2:12)
  • 58. Bad To Me (Demo) (1:29)
  • 59. I’m In Love (Demo) (1:32)

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19 responses to Beatles / Bootleg Recordings 1963

  1. Ken says:

    Downloading all the songs as a bundle costs £34:99 in the UK. In the USA the bundle costs $39:99 or around £24:70. Who’s kidding who here?

    • Dave Van Musicmaster says:

      typical – ripping off the British consumer – all of these greedy companies think that £1 = $1 – hope someone downloads it, converts it to mp3 and puts it straight on a file sharing site!!!

      Sheer greed !!!

  2. Ronnie says:

    Why not sell it CD only mailorder only? Just a simple tracklisting and a jewel box would do. I am guessing this will now be released as a real bootleg.

  3. Tim Harrison says:

    As much as I love the Beatles, for what amounts to a three cd set I think £35 is a bit steep, especially as you have no physical product and are basically paying for crappy MP3’s….

  4. Hedley says:

    Hang on, notwithstanding all that stuff about copyright laws (like who hasn’t bought a bootleg) we have just paid for BBC #2 and now they want $39.99 for this ?
    Really disappointing

  5. Fred Smith says:

    C’mon Paul;surely this isn’t for your pension plan?Who wants rubbish mp3s for £35?And they wonder why people [allegedly]illegally download.

  6. Phil Wilson says:

    Pretty shocked to see the price of £34.99, surely these would have fit on 2 CDs for which the price of BBC vol 2 was around £12. And none of these tracks were deemed worthy of inclusion on vol 1 or vol 2. A total rip off, but often downloads are more expensive than physical CDs. Is the Beach Boys 1963 out today too?

  7. Richie says:

    Paul, are these mp3 or are they also available as apple lossless?

  8. Julian says:

    I’m looking forward to some of the later stuff. Maybe that’ll be kinda interesting. (á la Abbey Road outtakes).

  9. Steven Bates says:

    The set is $69.99 here in New Zealand rather steep,perhaps since Apple only have to release this stuff to retain copyright they don’t really care how it sells and they would rather most people don’t know about,this really is a fan release and wouldn’t have much public appeal, it will be nice to see what else comes out, I just wish they would stop gouging the fans,this should be half the price or less.

  10. Danny says:

    I’m sorry, but I personally don’t equate £40 for a bunch of MP3 quality files with the word ‘deluxe’ nor is this lousy offer worthy of advertisement here on this website.

  11. Michel says:

    only on iTunes as a download… ?? Yeah right.. Only to find out that if the fans has bought it (i cant believe if anybody does that) than bring it out as a overpriced double CD. Remember the STones download ??? ONLY as a download… yeah right…

  12. Ian says:

    £35?!!! For stuff I’ve been listening to for years? I think not, somehow…

  13. PAC says:

    Yeah.. it’s news, I concede. But not something that deserves the vote on here Paul !

  14. Jason Paskowitz says:

    Sorry, will not buy as MP3’s. If there was ever a niche product for physical media customers, this is it. Don’t know what they were thinking.

  15. dudemeister says:

    Hmm. I really resent paying for MP3s. I feel that if i am buying something not only do I want to receive what I’ve bought but the person/organisation I’ve bought it off should lose something by selling it to me. That would be something they cannot replace by simply ‘right clicking and copying’. I would happily pay for a physical product but not for digital files that will, within hours if not days, be available free elsewhere.

  16. Noel Gibbons says:

    I was livid about the Peter Gabriel thing, and I know this puts me at odds with other hardcore Beatles fans, but I honestly don’t understand the criticism with this one.

    Yes, it’s the total opposite of a ‘deluxe’ release – there couldn’t be fewer frills or concessions to the consumer in the way the recordings have been been released, but this is only about fulfilling legal criteria. The whole point of the exercise is to do as much as possible to prevent this from becoming a recognised mass-market release. For perhaps the first time ever, they’re not fussed about people actually buying it. They’re clearly figuring that the fans/completists will have this stuff anyway, in no worse quality files/discs, and have just arbitrarily slapped a price tag on it just for the sake of it being for sale.

    It’s clear that this release is reluctant because a) it conflicts heavily with the marketing and release of Live at the BBC Vol. 2, considering that so many of the bootlegs are BBC recordings, and b) that news of these bootlegs are confusing to the consumer and that it will potentially undermine sales of the new physical product, especially leading up to Xmas, and that the timing is only a matter of legal expediency.

    It’s a release to satisfy legal small print, not people. Why is its existence on iTunes so offensive, and why would a completist need to buy it now if they already have the recordings? If they didn’t have the recordings, why do they want them now in no better quality?

    Perhaps there could be another sister website to deal with this new type of release that could be around for a while… BasicNoFrillsCopyrightExtensionEdition.

  17. I’m really glad Paul put this on SD as it allowed me to find out in detail about the release. Although my format of choice would be CD I’m really concerned about actually hearing the music! Surely as fans that should be the main requirement for news for the site? I’ve got no access to the pirate recordings so this is the first time I’ve heard some of these takes.
    From a fan perspective although the tracks are a little repetitive in places it’s really enjoyable and the two demos at the end are simply stunning. I’m really glad this collection is available and as Nik Kershaw said, “you can choose NOT to buy it!”

  18. Pearson says:

    Not sure why they havent yet released more of these sets, as all of the (still) officially unreleased material should be secured and so for avoid to getting them in the dirty hands of public-domain.

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