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The Beatles The Early Tapes of The Beatles album cover
2.17 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ain't She Sweet (2:12)
2. Cry for a Shadow (2:23)
3. When the Saints Go Marching In (3:18)
4. Why (2:58)
5. If You Love Me, Baby (2:53)
6. What'd I Say (2:39)
7. Sweet Georgia Brown (2:05)
8. Let's Dance (2:33)
9. Ruby Baby (2:52)
10. My Bonnie (2:42)
11. Nobody's Child (3:55)
12. Ready Teddy (2:01)
13. Ya Ya (Parts 1 & 2) (5:28)
14. Kansas City (2:38)

Total Time 40:37

Line-up / Musicians

- 1 & 2: The Beatles
- 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11: The Beatles with Tony Sheridan
- 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14: Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers

Releases information

Polydor 823-701-2 (1987)
Spectrum 550 037-2 (1998) with new cover

Full title: THE EARLY TAPES OF THE BEATLES (The Beatles With Tony Sheridan/ Tony Sheridan And The Beat Brothers)

Tracks 1-5, 10, 11 P1961
Tracks 7, 12 P1962
Tracks 6, 8, 9, 13,14 P1963

Thanks to MANDRAKEROOT for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THE BEATLES The Early Tapes of The Beatles ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(11%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (56%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

THE BEATLES The Early Tapes of The Beatles reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
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.

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars There are a multitude of albums with this material from the Fabs' early days, when they made a number of visits to Hamburg and recorded as Tony Sheridan's backing band. It was their time in Hamburg when they played for around 12 hours a day that turned them from another Liverpool band into the number one Liverpool band, but this material is strictly for collectors only to purchase, for everyone else it's worth hearing once for historical interest. After all, it was "My Bonnie" that started their career when Raymond Jones asked for it in Brian Epstein's shop.

The other interesting track is "Cry for a shadow", an early Beatles original. Be warned, it's not entirely clear which tracks The Beatles actually played on.

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