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The Beatles - The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 CD (album) cover


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2 stars I thought a bit before including this album in this Discography: it was legally released in 1977 in Germany, the U.K. and in the U.S., but it wasn`t authorized by The Beatles, who fought in the courts to cancel the release, but they lost, with the Judge saying that "this album is of authentic historical interest, and The Beatles should have sued earlier, because they knew about the existence of the tapes and the plans to be released legally".

The details of the history of these recordings are better told in websites dedicated to The Beatles (for example, in I knew that The Beatles years later, in the 80s or 90s, fought again in the courts to stop the re-issues of this recordings, even on C.D., and they finally won.

These recordings were done with a mono open-reel tape machine in December 1962. The new owners of these recordings in the seventies tried to "polish" them because they were even more poor in quality in comparison to the released recordings.I can see why The Beatles were very against the idea of the release of these recordings, because there are some mistakes in the performances of the songs, BUT I still like this album! Why? Because it shows The Beatles with a more "raw" quality, playing with energy in a German Club, being this an example of their work in this kind of places where they started their career before becoming famous. They also said jokes, said "hello" to some of clients of the Club in a very familiar way, and played sometimes very "heavy". This album also has a lot of songs which The Beatles never recorded for their studio albums. Their repertoire also shows some very old songs, maybe playing them to satisfy clients of the Club of different ages, or even playing to the German audience an old song like "Falling in Love Again", a song sung by German actress Marlene Dietrich in the 30s! The German people happy clap to this good gesture done for them by The Beatles.

Other interesting things are:"Matchbox", sung by Ringo Starr when they recorded it in the studio, is sung by Lennon in this live album. The Beatles also let some of their German friends to sing some songs, so they let German waiter Horst Obber to sing "Be-Bop-a-Lula" and "Hallelujah I Love Her So"!

I really enjoy listening to this album, even if the recordings are of bad quality. I can understand the reasons that The Beatles had against it, but...this album is of real historical interest, IMO, too.

A final note: This album was relased in the U.K. 5 days before the live album authorized by The Beatles called "The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl" . It seems that EMI and The Beatles were trying to "kill" the release of the "Star Club" recordings releasing their authorized recording at almost the same time. Of course, the "Hollywood Bowl" sold very well in comparison to the "Star Club" album, even being at the top of the charts.

Report this review (#72352)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Shock, horror, chopper gives one star to Beatles album!

Well, you certainly get the feel and the atmosphere of the early Hamburg days of the Beatles on this record but be warned, these songs were recorded by a fellow musician ("Kingsize" Taylor) on a handheld tape recorder and it took a lot of work to get them to a sufficient quality to release, and even then they're extremely rough.

These recordings are of interest to Beatle fanatics such as myself but they're really only the sort of thing you'd listen to once or twice. There are a few tracks that resurfaced on the early studio albums (A Taste of Honey, Mr Moonlight, I Saw Her Standing There and of course Twist and Shout) but most are cover versions which The Beatles used to fill their sets up to the required 12 hours!

It is said that "When I'm 64" was written around this time but there's no sign of anything like that here. Strictly for Beatle fanatics only.

Report this review (#78369)
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is basically the same thing as Last Night in Hamburg, except it has less songs. If you like The Beatles this is for you, but other than that it's not that great since the the sound quality is bootleg and the songs are not all made by The Beatles. And the songs that aren't by The Beatles is typical 60's rock...2 Stars. Die hard fans or collectors only.
Report this review (#132561)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have the album version of this and not any remixes or remakes if any even exist. If they do I pray the sound quality has been improved a lot. Otherwise this is your basic mono sound bootleg that should be interesting only to real Beatles fans who must hear or own anything they ever recorded. For the rest of us, skip it. If I have to choose a favorite track here it has to be FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN. Nice to hear the Beatles take on this old chestnut. Deitrich, I think. be generous I give this 2 stars because it IS the Beatles and it has historical importance. 2 stars it is. Collectors and fans only.
Report this review (#604206)
Posted Friday, January 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Great performances, poor sound quality.

This is a bootleg-quality recording of the Beatles playing live in the Star Club in Hamburg, before they released even their first single. The performances are high-energy and a lot of fun. Although they play some originals, the majority of tracks here are cover tunes, some of whom would not grace any of their subsequent albums. So, this is a worthy archive just for that. Also, while some of the covers are a bit cheesy or intentionally humourous (like "Your Feets Too Big", "Lend Me Your Comb", and "Besame Mucho"), others really rock (eg "Kansas City", "Hippie Hippie Shake", "Be Bop-a-lulu"). There are also some covers we are used to ("Roll Over Beethoven", "Long Tall Sally") but I would not say they are any better than the studio-recorded versions. Unfortunately, the sound quality is poor, making this only for true fans.

Report this review (#1698703)
Posted Saturday, March 4, 2017 | Review Permalink

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