Posted on December 18th, 2013
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.
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!