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  • The Beatles Decca audition...

    I had never heard all of this before until Chordite posted this over in the HCEG forum. Interesting recordings!



    Frankly, it's not half bad, but I can still kind of see why Decca passed on signing them...
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
    I had never heard all of this before until Chordite posted this over in the HCEG forum. Interesting recordings!



    Frankly, it's not half bad, but I can still kind of see why Decca passed on signing them...

    Me too

    "Guitar groups are on their way out"

    Decca wouldn't make the same mistake twice






    _____________________________________
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    • #3
      I have heard a lot of Beatles Bootlegs and outtakes before I ever heard the entire Decca session and the Decca audition recordings were still shockingly bad. There is virtually none of the quality that made the Beatles great. It is amazing how much better their first recordings with George Martin sounded.

      On the other hand, the live at the Star Club recordings from around the same time are quite exciting and the musicianship seems better.

      I suspect that the reason the Decca recordings were bad is because they tried to play it safe and were nervous in the studio. The song selection seems to show that they didn't think there was a market for rock music. (Except for the twist, rock 'n roll was in commercial decline at the time.)The beats are weak, there are no originals, the song selection is poor, they sing few harmonies, play almost no solos and there is nothing to make these recordings noteworthy. Some conclusions:

      1. They were right to enlist Ringo
      2. They needed to capture more of the energy that they could put out live
      3. George Martin was the right producer to capture their live energy and add refinements to enhance it.
      4. They got a lot better during 1962-63
      5. They were good writers by the first album.
      Last edited by Hard Truth; 12-22-2016, 03:51 PM.
      "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

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      • #4
        Thanks for posting; never heard the Decca session before.

        I think they sound pretty darn good, even Pete's drumming is decent.

        Their song selection was not great here, no originals, and none of these covers made it onto their first album, which was recorded a little more than a year later.

        But Money and Till There Was You don't sound a whole lot different than the versions that they would record later.
        __________________________________________________
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        Reprehensible as it was, gassing was a conventional and accepted method for execution at the time. It is a stretch to equivocate the two.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
          I had never heard all of this before until Chordite posted this over in the HCEG forum. Interesting recordings!



          Frankly, it's not half bad, but I can still kind of see why Decca passed on signing them...


          Anyone can. Pete Best was a frickin' anchor around their necks.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bluzboy View Post

            Anyone can. Pete Best was a frickin' anchor around their necks.
            But dude - you don't understand! It was all a conspiracy! The Beatles wanted him gone because he was the best looking one and all the birds flocked to him - they were just jealous!

            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

              But dude - you don't understand! It was all a conspiracy! The Beatles wanted him gone because he was the best looking one and all the birds flocked to him - they were just jealous!


              I'm almost done reading Lewinsohn's massive tome, Tune In (it's extremely well researched, informative, but not especially well written)...and I can tell you, by all historical accounts, that Pete sucked (at least back then; I give him big props for staying with it). He was also a moody loner who didn't fit in at all with the other three. Also, he was essentially their ticket to Hamburg; they wouldn't have gotten the gig without a drummer.

              After their audition with EMI, George Martin insisted that Best not play on any records. Moreover, when they did the recordings with Tony Sheridan, the producer, Bert Kaempert, took all of Pete's drums away except a snare.

              By the way, for all of his genius, George Martin never intended to sign the Beatles to EMI; but was rather forced to by his boss as a type of punishment for Martin ruffling his feathers. He initially passed as well.
              Last edited by bluzboy; 01-10-2017, 01:02 PM.

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              • #8
                He was also a moody loner who didn't fit in at all with the other three.
                I've heard that cited as a reason why they wanted him gone on several occasions. I think that, along with various other factors (less than solid timekeeping, etc.), sealed the deal on Pete Best's continued involvement with the band.

                By the way, for all of his genius, George Martin never intended to sign the Beatles to EMI; but was rather forced to by his boss as a type of punishment for Martin ruffling his feathers. He initially passed as well.
                Martin was the head of Parlophone at the time - he ran the label. The only person above him would have been the head of EMI, and I've never heard that he forced SGM to sign the band. Do you have any links about that that I can check out?
                **********

                "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                - George Carlin

                "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a couple of the meatier ones from a quick Internet search.

                  I'm sure there's more out there:


                  http://abbeyrd.proboards.com/thread/...tin-true-story

                  http://www.thebeatlesrarity.com/2015...-first-single/

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                  • #10
                    Pretty cool to listen to. And no doubt they improved from there. haha. Speaking of which, and I may have missed the discussion here, but has anyone else watched any of the "Soundbreaking" documentary series on PBS? I watched the first episode and a half or so. Really cool. The first episode is about producers, and of course Sir George Martin received a good portion of time.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CME View Post
                      Pretty cool to listen to. And no doubt they improved from there. haha. Speaking of which, and I may have missed the discussion here, but has anyone else watched any of the "Soundbreaking" documentary series on PBS? I watched the first episode and a half or so. Really cool. The first episode is about producers, and of course Sir George Martin received a good portion of time.
                      My wife recorded them on the DVR but I've only watched a couple of them. I thought they were pretty good though.
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment













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