The Beatles, ‘The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963’ (Capitol/Universal/Apple)
Coming just five weeks after the release of “On Air: Live at the BBC, Volume 2,” more previously unreleased Beatles songs were issued on the digital-only “The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963,” which was released on iTunes on Tuesday.
There’s an ulterior motive behind the release; as explained in a recent New York Times article, the band has to officially put out unreleased material in order to hold on to the copyright. But Beatles fans will just be happy to get their hands on more rarities from the vaults.
The new album has 44 more tracks from the band’s sessions for BBC radio; the remaining 15 tracks include 13 studio outtakes and two intriguing demos. As The Beatles’ career ramped up, the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney churned out so much material they were able to pass on their lesser songs to other acts their manager, Brian Epstein, handled.
And it’s easy to see why both “Bad to Me” and “I’m in Love,” were given to Billy J. Kramer and The Fourmost, respectively; they’re simple and sweet, but pale in comparison to other Beatles songs of the period like “Please Please Me” and “She Love You.” Nonetheless, it’s exciting to finally hear the (rough) demos for the songs by Lennon, and wonder what The Beatles might have done with them.
As for the other tracks, the slower, almost lazy studio versions of “From Me to You” and an early work out of “I Saw Her Standing There” are highlights, while the BBC tracks spotlight the group’s rocking side, with energetic covers of “Some Other Guy,” “The Hippy Hippy Shake,” “A Shot of Rhythm and Blues,” and a surprisingly sedate “Twist and Shout.”