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The Beatles - The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl CD (album) cover


The Beatles



2.85 | 42 ratings

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3 stars This album was compiled by George Martin in January 1977 from live recordings of two concerts that The Beatles played at the Hollywood Bowl in August 1964 and August 1965. Originally recorded using a 3 track tape machine, these recordings were originally planned by Capitol Records in the U.S. to be released as a live album in the sixties, but the plans were canceled because the quality of the recordings wasn`t very good, being also "spoiled" by the shouts of many fans in the audience. By 1977, George Martin and Engineer Geoff Emerick tried to "polish" these recordings, using the best technology available then, finally using for the album the tracks which they considered the best versions of the songs of both concerts. I think that they did a very good job.

The Beatles and other bands of the sixties were "pioneers" touring using the primitive equipment then available, and playing on stage without using stage monitors to listen how they were playing and singing the songs.So, I have to recognize their merits playing in these situations which were also harder "thanks" to the shouts of their audiences at the concerts. I can see why The Beatles took the decision in 1966 to stop playing in concerts: their fans could not listen very well to the music, because they were very "excited" and shouting all the time, and The Beatles had to work harder to try to listen to themselves due to the lack of stage monitors. So, this album is a very good demonstration of how good were The Beatles playing in concert despite the lack of stage monitors and despite the "noise" of their audiences.

The Beatles and other bands of the sixties (like the Rolling Stones) were playing in those years concerts of more or less than 30 minutes, so the lenght of this album is of 33 minutes.The Beatles play and sing very well all the songs in this album, and this "destroys" the critics that said that they were not a good band playing on stage.

The songs are played almost with the same duration as the original versions recorded in the studio, with the exception of "Twist and Shout" and "Ticket to Ride" which are shorter. I don`t know if the originall live recordings of these songs were edited to delete some mistakes in the playing or in the singing, but this album is very interesting as an historical document of The Beatles playing in concert during the so-called "Beatlemania". I consider Ringo as the main force of The Beatles in concert. He never missed a beat in these live recordings, playing with a lot of energy to help the others to play and sing in time. Almost all songs have lead vocals by John or/and Paul, but George sings lead vocals on "Roll Over Beethoven" and Ringo in "Boys". The vocal harmonies are very good despite the lack of monitors. They never sang out of tune despite this. There are also included the commentaries told by The Beatles between songs to their fans, saying things like "this song is form last year...", etc.

This album has not being re-issued on C.D. Maybe the reason is that the C.D. format could show more the limitations of the live recordings. I hope that some day this album could be released on C.D., being a very good album, very enjoyable.

Guillermo | 3/5 |


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