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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songs were edited to delete some mistakes in the playing or in the singing, but this album is very interesting as an historical document of The Beatles playing in concert during the so-called "Beatlemania".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.

Report this review (#72350)
Posted Sunday, March 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I agree with the previous reviewer in that this is an excellent example of just how good these boys were in the peak of "Beatlemania." I'm very surprised that it is not available in cd format because almost every scrap of music they made is easy to be had. I have it on vinyl and perhaps that's where it should be. But for those who tend to dismiss them as a purely "pop" band you need to hear this to understand that it was the very power of rock and roll that propelled them into the consciousness of all restless teens at that period in history. They blazed a trail a mile wide.
Report this review (#72402)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The first official "live" album of the Beatles documents the "Beatlemania" period during the American concerts 1964/65. The tape that I listened to was of poor sound quality and sometimes screaming of the girls in audience outroared the music. Nice document for fans but nothing more than that.
Report this review (#122042)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars A live album from the Fab four. Very rare since they quickly decided to stop their live appearances since they were unable to hear their music while playing live. The cheering crowd (girls) shouting and crying so much that it was not pleasant any more. Which is also a reason to have decline the release of live albums while they were still a band.

This album is a good example of the chaos and hysteria that a concert from the Fab Four could delivered. But remember they were GODS.

Whatever song is introduced (even "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" is it acclaimed as if it was the best song in the world) the background noise is the same throughout this very short live album released in 1977.

Paul even asking to the audience "Can you hear me" while introducing "Ticket to Ride". No need to tell you about the frenzy of the sweethearts while listening to the very start of "Can't Buy Be Love". Impressive if not annoying.

This album could have been longer since it mixes two concerts played at the Bowl in just over a year's time. But Martin came up with this mix holding apparently the best of these two concerts (or at least the most listenable).

When one listen to the introduction of several songs (like "A Hard Day's Night") one can not really say that they were great communicators with their audience. They concentrated on music, which is the essence of a band I guess. But still, some good comments don't hurt.

If you exclude these overwhelming shouts, these performances were rather good. "Help!", "All My Loving" or "She Loves You" for instance capture these wonderful vocal harmonies you could hear on their studio work. Rather remarkable under these circumstances.

This is a good live album. Anyway, if you want to listen to some live "Beatles" albums, there is no much choice.There is no weak song featured, all top class Fab four ones.

Three stars.

Report this review (#155494)
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars There is a lot of live Beatles material out there...but this is by far the best. The performances of the songs are BETTER than on the studio albums. Twist and Shout, Roll Over Beethoven and She's A Woman are slightly rearranged from the studio versions, and much the better for it. The true talent and raw energy of the early beatles cannot be understood without this well-recorded document of that moment in history.

Some are annoyed by the screaming, but I don't think it interferes with the music...there are only a very few places where the crowd comes close to over-powering the music, and in those places it is for good reason. The screaming is not a constant monotone wail, but is affected by and literally becomes PART OF the music. Every time I hear the guitar solo in She's A Woman end, and Paul yells She's A Woman, I always get goosebumps when the screaming momentarily swells up over the song, and I've been listening to this album for over 15 years.

Unfortunately this album was never made into a CD in the US or Great Britain, but both the 1964 and 1965 shows in their entirity were released on one CD (titled 'Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl')in Japan, and can be bought online through Amazon and places like that. If you're only going to own two Beatles albums recorded before Rubber Soul, let 'Help!' be one, and let 'Live at the Hollywood Bowl' be the other.

Report this review (#172377)
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars My neigbour gave me this cassette as a twelve years present some 35+ odds years ago. I was never into The Beatles but he tried to convert me. I had (still have ?) good manners so I smiled and put the cassette in the back of my large collection of cassettes. I dug it out again now because I am, 35+ years later, becoming a convert.

The Beatles was pretty potent live. Unfortunate; they ceased to be a live band back in '65-66. If I am not mistaken, these are one of the last ever gigs they ever did. If not the last one. The rooftop gig they did in London four years later more than proved they still were a good live band.

The songs here are from the first albums and therefore not interesting in my view. I only rate their albums from Rubber Soul. This live album consist of youthful pop-rock, the Beatles way. Only Ticket to Ride and A Hard Day`s Night is good songs here. But the band is never out of tune and they do their best. I am afraid this is not for me. But I agree with those who want this live album to be re-released on CD. It is that good. But I will play this cassette once every twenty years and that's it.

2.5 stars

Report this review (#247099)
Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars I have had this on cassette for many years and used to crank it up though it was weird to hear The Beatles so raw and agressive. The manufactured pop sound was gone of course and live the band were prone to reveal a lot of the problems with their musicianship and singing. It is a flawed performance but all the better for it.

My favourites on this are Twist and Shout, Ticket to Ride, Things We Said Today, Roll Over Beethoven, A Hard Day`s Night, Help! and She Loves You. A live record of the band in this era was a rarity all those years ago so this was one for all Beatles connoiseurs to snap up and they did just that making this quite a success in the late 70s. You will hear the screaming seagulls fans but thankfully the music is not drowned out beyond ear level. The guitars are rough and almost punk like in places, such is the rawness, with sound drop outs and bum notes, rasping vocals and errors on lyrics, but this is a wonderful live performance showcasing the fab Four at the peak of their powers.

Report this review (#399028)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Good actual Lord. Here's a story for the ages. Right at the height of The Beatles' original zeitgeist, when they still played live to fans who wouldn't let anyone actually listen to the music, their record companies tried their darnedest to get a high quality taping of a live performance to ply to eager fans. Unfortunately for their plans, none of their recordings turned out in anywhere near decent quality, when venues and guilds even let them record. Back then, they had the good sense not to drop any of this on the world. But in the Seventies, with Beatlemania II still raging, a different company managed to kick out an even poorer recording of one of the old Hamburg shows. This led a panicked EMI to force George Martin to try and salvage two bad recordings of Hollywood Bowl shows, a year apart, into something they could sell to make up lost ground. And... well, he couldn't really salvage it. SQ remains in the dumps, and there's nothing here for lo-fi to make better. The fans are way too loud and annoying. The haphazard stitching together of the two shows results in both "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" being the newest Beatles album. It's great to have another version of their cover of "Roll Over Beethoven", but this is worth very little. *sigh* We did need a good Beatles live record, but this wasn't it. Definitely a collectible for fans, but this comes out more like a Dada art project meant to critique the culture of pop music than anything else.
Report this review (#1323526)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2014 | Review Permalink

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