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The Beatles - The Early Tapes of The Beatles CD (album) cover


The Beatles



2.11 | 9 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The tracks of this album were produced in 1961 by Bert Kaempfert, who was a very successful German musician-director of his own orchestra in the 50s-70s, playing music in the "easy listening" style, until his death in 1980. He also had his own production company. In 1961 he visited some Night Clubs in Hamburg, and he saw in one of them Tony Sheridan playing accompanied by The Beatles. He liked the Sheridan-Beatles combination, and he offered Tony, who was the main artist then, to record some tracks. So, in June 1961, The Beatles and Sheridan recorded some tracks (in the other tracks Sheridan was backed by a band called The Beat Brothers, which was the name he gave to his backing bands then).

The main interest in this album, is, IMO, to hear The Beatles` first recordings for a big label (Polydor in Germany). The most interesting songs are, IMO, the songs they recorded without Sheridan: "Ain`t She Sweet", an old Jazz song arranged in the Rock and Roll style, sung by John Lennon, and the only Harrison-Lennon composition to appear on record, "Cry For a Shadow", which is an instrumental song on which George Harrison played the lead guitar and John Lennon the rhythm guitar, plus Paul McCartney playing bass guitar and Pete Best playing drums.

The songs on which The Beatles appear backing Sheridan are good. The most interesting song of all these songs is, IMO, "My Bonnie", which is the song, as the old story says, which led Brian Epstein to "discover" The Beatles and becoming his manager.In the songs of the Sheridan-Beatles combination, I can hear the difference between being The Beatles or being another band (like The Beat Brothers): the energy and charisma were there even before being backing musicians for Sheridan, but also I can hear why The Beatles fired Pete Best as their drummer: his playing is very basic, well done, but very basic.

The songs recorded by Sheridan with The Beat Brothers sound like the "Standard Rock and Roll Band": the musicians are competent, but not very different in sound to other Standard Rock and Roll bands of the time, I think. The Beat Brothers also had a piano player (Roy Young) who also appears in "Sweet Georgia Brown" with Sheridan and The Beatles. Tony Sheridan was a good singer & guitarist. He was more popular in Germany, where he lived and played (and maybe he still lives and works there).

Most of the tracks on this album appeared several times in the L.P. format, in albums with titles like "The Beatles`First" and "In the Beginning-The Beatles and Tony Sheridan". There is also a 2- C.D. set which includes additional tracks recorded by Sheridan in Hamburg.

IMO, all the recordings in this "The Early Tapes of The Beatles" C.D. are of very good quality, with good stereo, showing how good were Bert Kaempfert and his Recording-Mixing Engineers. My late father had in his record collection at least 8 albums recorded by Kaempfert and his orchestra. I have to say that all sound very good, so Kaempfert was a "high-quality" producer, IMO.

Guillermo | 2/5 |


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