Beatles Hollywood, Vinyl Clean $12

For my birthday this year, my mom bought me “The Beatles at Hollywood Bowl.” She knows how much I love the Beatles, and she was interested in hearing the record as well (Like mother, like daughter). Without further ado, here is my review of this vintage find.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Since it is a live album, one must not expect a studio dubbed recording but one with raw energy and ambiance. It truly is a treasure in that it is a snapshot of what became known as “Beatlemania.” The album documents the Beatles’ two visits to the Hollywood Bowl, first in 1964 and again in 1965. Both sides of the record contain songs from each concert. My vintage copy is a gatefold sleeved Capitol Records edition dated 1977 that opens to a spread of a photo of the band onstage and overlaid with various items of Beatles memorabilia. The inner record sleeve has two black and white photos of hysterical fans in various stages of euphoria.  On the back cover is the track-listing and a lengthy note from the Fab Four’s  long-time producer George Martin that explains the recording conditions (less than ideal) and method (three track tapes).

Courtesy of Beatle Photo Blog

Courtesy of Beatle Photo Blog

At first listen, the prominent feature of this album is the ever-present sound of screaming fans. The songs themselves are somewhat drowned out by the screaming, but not as much as one would expect. Interestingly, it is noted that the Beatles themselves could not hear themselves over their fans, and despite this hurdle, they sound surprisingly in-sync and on-pitch.

The track-listing includes early Beatles’ hits from their rock-n-roll era, such as “Twist and Shout,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and “She Loves You.” As always, “All My Loving” is painfully too short and too wonderful. It is certainly an excellent live set full of energetic songs that would keep the crowd moving. In their live renditions, the songs take on a new energy and excitement that almost feels like hearing them for the first time all over again. That energy definitely takes its toll on the boys as their between song chatter becomes considerably more out of breath. Out of the thirteen songs on the album, only “Things We Said Today” has a slower tempo. It is amazing to think that the Beatles performed 1280 concerts from 1960-1970.

I would recommend this album for anyone who is already familiar and appreciative of the Beatles’ body of work. For the rest of you, I will leave you with the words of Sir George Martin: “My youngest daughter Lucy…once asked me about them, ‘You used to record them, didn’t you Daddy?’ she asked, ‘Were they as great as the Bay City Rollers?’. ‘Probably not,’ I replied. Some day she will find out.”

SyTCa

Tracklisting:

1. Twist and Shout
2. She’s A Woman
3. Dizzy Miss Lizzie
4. Ticket to Ride
5. Can’t Buy Me Love
6. Things We Said Today
7. Roll Over Beethoven
8. Boys
9. A Hard Day’s Night
10. Help!
11. All My Loving
12. She Loves You
13. Long Tall Sally

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