Today was kind of weird in that I found out The Beatles: Bootleg Recordings 1963 was released. It popped up in my news feed and was reported to have two previously unreleased demo tracks along with a wealth of alternate studio takes for classic songs, plus a bunch of live recordings from the BBC. For a Beatles fan like me, it was a joyous event.
Until I found out it's THIRTY-NINE DOLLARS AND NINETY-FIVE CENTS, that is.
I mean, yes, it's 59 tracks... and it's The frickin' Beatles... but $39.95 when I have a lot of the material in already-released or alternate versions? Crazy talk.
So I bought the two demo tracks, listened to samples of the 57 remainders, bought a few more I liked, then put my wallet back in my pocket and walked away relatively unscathed.
Out of everything, the demo for Bad to Me is the stand-out. It's peppy and fun with wonderful lyrics that bounce and sparkle throughout the minute-and-a-half track like only an early Beatles tune can. I knew of the song (written by Lennon), and knew it was recorded by Billy J. Kramer for release, but I had no idea this recording existed. So... yay.
A part of me continues to wonder if there are other tracks hidden away that are being saved for The Beatles 100th anniversary or something. Given the massive amount of material Lennon-McCartney created, it certainly seems possible. In the meanwhile, I suppose I'll have to be content that releases like this continue to find their way to Beatles fans.
Even if it costs THIRTY-NINE DOLLARS AND NINETY-FIVE CENTS!
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Apparently, there’s some copyright distinction between unreleased and released recordings. The former are only protected for 50 years while the later for 70. Much of this material was losing copyright protection at the end of this year, but by releasing it, it’s protected for another 20. (Unless it gets a new 70?!)
Bizarre. So like… “She Loves You”… now gets to be released as new, even though it’s old, and the song is protected for 70 more years or something? I wonder why that doesn’t work when a song is covered by an entirely different band?
I had heard about these rarities and the snippets are actually pretty good.
The one I am looking forward to are the official US releases on CD.
The details about this set, which comes out Jan 21st, are pretty cool… including the album art and inner sleeves.