Wildcat!

The Beatals

Number

Year

Format

Madman 13 - 14

1996

CD / CDR


    Special Features

Comes with a 32 page booklet and slipcase-style box.
  
Packaging:

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Box front
   

Booklet front
   

Box back
   

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Front Cover

Back Cover


Disc Variations:

CD

CDR

The CDs have similar images. The colors are: Disc 1 - Orange & Yellow / Disc 2 - Green & Purple
 

The Booklet:

The booklet included with this title features the following information:

- An introduction by Philip Norman; from Shout: The Beatles In Their Generation (reproduced below)
- Liner notes by the people at Vigotone (reproduced below)
- Detailed track notes (reproduced below)
  

 

NOTE: The CDR version of this release is a bit shorter than the CD version.  The last track of disk 2 has its ending chopped off.

Madman 13  -  17 Tracks  -  Total Time: 51:27
       

Madman 14  -  8 Tracks   -  Total Time: 59:34 - CD
       55:17 - CDR

1. Wildcat #1   (1:26) 1. I'll Follow The Sun   (1:49)
2. Wildcat #2   (2:30) 2. Hallelujah, I Love Her So   (2:37)
3. I'll Always Be In Love With You   (2:23) 3. One After 909   (2:29)
4. You'll Be Mine   (1:44) 4. Movin' And Groovin' / Ramrod   (3:50)
5. Matchbox   (1:03) 5. Improvisation   (11:54)
6. "Some Days"   (1:38) 6. Improvisation   (7:48)
7. Cayenne   (2:31) 7. Improvisation   (11:16)
8. One After 909   (1:30) 8. Improvisation   (17:51 CD version)  (13:34 CDR version)
9. "Well, Darling"   (3:22)
10. "You Must Write Everyday"   (2:35)
11. That's When Your Heartaches Begin   (1:16)
12. Hello Little Girl   (1:53)
13. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise   (2:41)
14. "I Don't Know" (Improvisation)   (5:58)
15. "I Don't Need No Cigarettes, Boy" (Improvisation)    (5:59)
16. "That's An Important Number" (Improvisation)    (7:58)
17. Improvisation   (4:59)

 

Box Back Text:

The 2CD set contains all of the known 1960 rehearsal recordings by "The Beatals".  Though the quality is rough, the material has undeniable historical value as it features the only known recordings of the band with Stu Sutcliff and offers a rare glimpse into the repertoire and musical capabilities of the group in its formative years.  This set has been mastered from the best available sources and it includes a 28 page booklet of notes and photos.

 

Liner Notes:

Introduction

They still practiced for hours on end, at George's or Paul's house, using a tape recorder of the old-fashioned sort that grew gently warm after a couple of hours' use.   They had no idea of the way they wanted to be.  They knew only that they wanted to be.  They knew only that they wanted to be nothing like Cliff Richard's neat, smiling, step-dancing Shadows.  A tape has survived of a long rambling blues sequence with George on lead guitar, his fingering stumbling frequently over half-learned phrases; John and Paul strumming in a hollow chorus; Stu Sutcliffe keeping up on bass by playing as few notes as possible.  At one point, Paul's voice breaks impatiently with a kind of impromptu jazz scat singing.  Later there are attempts at various rhythms, first rockabilly, then Latin American, then a note-for-note copy of the Eddie Cochran version of "Hallelujah, I Love Her So".  Suddenly they break into a song which was among the first ever written by John Lennon - "The One After 909".   The beat lifts, their voices coalesce, and for a moment they are recognizable as what they were to become.  Then they go back to sitting around while George, painfully, tries to learn the blues.
- Philip Norman
From Shout: The Beatles In Their Generation
  
          For many of us, Philip Norman's description of this early Beatles tape constitutes our first awareness of its existence.   It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that these tapes exist in the light of the fact that many important events in the development of the Beatles have been remarkably well documented (take for example the fact that photos and recordings exist of John Lennon & the Quarrymen at the historic Woolton Church Fete of July 6, 1957 - the day John met Paul).
          While these recordings are not for the weak at heart, when put into the proper historical perspective, and with an open mind (not to mention an undying love for the Beatles), you might actually gain some great Beatle insights from them.  1960, the year these recordings were made, was a significant year in the development of the Beatles and these tapes allow us a fascinating glimpse of the evolution of the early Beatles from a bedroom group to a German bar band.
          Although there have been previous vinyl and CD bootlegs of this material, it's never been collected in its entirety or in this kind of quality!  This CD has been remastered entirely from tape sources and the quality is better than you've ever heard!
          By January 1960, John, Paul, and George had been playing together for a little more than two years as the Quarrymen with various other band members.  Stu Sutcliffe, a friend of John's from art school, bought a bass guitar with money he earned selling one of his paintings and joined the Quarrymen at John's urging.  Shortly after he joined, he renamed the band the Beatals which then evolved from Silver Beats, Silver Beetles and Silver Beatles, to the Beatles by August of 1960.
          The Beatals spent the first half of 1960 without a drummer until May, when coffee-shop-owner turned booking-agent Allan Williams recruited 36-year-old Tommy Moore to fill the position.  Williams managed to get the group an audition on May 10 with Larry Parnes who was looking for a band to back singer Billy Fury on an upcoming tour, (several wonderful photos exist of the Silver Beetles at this audition).  Parnes left the audition without a band for Fury, but later hired the Silver Beetles to back Johnny Gentle on his tour of Scotland in late May.
          The Silver Beetles returned to Liverpool on May 29 and by mid-June were drummerless again.  Other than a 3-week association with drummer Norman Chapman in July, the Silver Beetles spent the better part of the summer as a 4 piece.
          In June  of 1960 manager Allan Williams began booking local bands to play Hamburg, Germany.  By August it was the Beatles' turn, but Williams would not send them until they could find a drummer.  The Beatles visited the Casbah Coffee Club one night after a gig was canceled and found drummer Pete Best playing there.  By August 16, after a perfunctory audition with the band, Best had joined and the Beatles were on their way to Hamburg where they would stay until the end of November.
          It is during this time period that the recordings in this collection were made.  Attributing an exact time and location to them is speculative, but in his interview with Mark Lewisohn on Anthology 1, Paul McCartney states that they were recorded at his house in Liverpool.  They are more likely from a variety of dates and locations in 1960.  While some of them could certainly have been done at McCartney's home, others are believed to have been recorded in the Beatles' quarters in Hamburg during their first visit there in late 1960.  The fact that the version of "I'll Follow The Sun" included here was first played on a German television special in 1966 would help support this theory.
          Close examination of the recordings reveal a definite progression of the Beatles from basically uninspired and tentative ramblings to fully-arranged and confidently performed song demos.  Notice also that most of what seem to be the earlier recordings feature primarily acoustic guitars while the recordings featuring electric guitars are presumably later ones.  And as mentioned before, since the Beatles were drummerless through much of 1960, there are no drums present on these recordings even though some of them were ostensibly made while Pete Best was part of the group.

 

Track Notes:

Disc 1
1. Wildcat #1   (1:26)
2. Wildcat #2   (2:30)
     {Schroeder / Gold}
     Paul McCartney: lead vocal
While these are both acoustic guitar versions of this song, the difference in sound would indicate that they come from two different recording dates.  In both versions, Stu has admirably grasped the opening riff on the bass but doesn't manage to successfully transpose the figure across the chord changes, displaying his infamous lack of skill as a musician.  The Beatles knew this song from Gene Vincent who was touring England in 1960.
   
3. I'll Always Be In Love With You   (2:23)
     {Stept}
     John Lennon: lead vocal
    It's hard to say where the Beatles would have learned this old chestnut, but it's possible that it's a song Lennon learned from his mother. They've reworked it here into a relatively convincing bluesy rock number.
   
4. You'll Be Mine   (1:44)
     {McCartney / Lennon}
     John Lennon and Paul McCartney: vocals
Many people are familiar with this McCartney / Lennon number due to its inclusion on Anthology 1.  However, this is the complete, unedited version.
   
5. Matchbox   (1:03)
     {Perkins}
     John Lennon: lead vocal
Carl Perkins' "Matchbox" turns up many times in the Beatles catalog with Ringo (still more than 2 years from joining the band) on lead vocal, but like "Honey Don't" from the BBC, it's interesting to hear Lennon taking the lead vocal on this acoustic version.  When the Beatles performed this song on stage in 1961, Pete Best was the vocalist.  Not bad for this early performance, but as one of the boys notes, "It's just ordinary."
   
6. "Some Days"   (1:38)
     Paul McCartney: lead vocal
"Some Days" is just a guess at the song title for this acoustic guitar demo that is possibly an early McCartney composition.
Unlike some of the relatively uninspired instrumental ramblings elsewhere on this collection, the Beatles here are a more confident rock'n'roll group.  While the song is somewhat simple, it is still basically very catchy and displays McCartney's innate sense of melodic lines.
   
7. Cayenne   (2:31)
     {McCartney}
This instrumental acoustic guitar number is, like "You'll Be Mine," familiar to Anthology 1 buyers, but again, this is the longer, unedited version.  This Latinesque number is one of several McCartney instrumentals written around this time.
   
8. One After 909   (1:30)
     {Lennon / McCartney}
     John Lennon and Paul McCartney: vocals
The earliest known version of a song that turns up many times throughout the Beatles career.  Along with a slightly later version that appears elsewhere on this collection, there are two versions from the 1962 Cavern rehearsal tapes, several takes from the March 1963 EMI session and numerous versions from the 1969 Get Back sessions.  It's interesting to trace the development of this song to discover that after trying several different arrangements the Beatles would eventually return to the same feel and approach that they use on this acoustic version when they finally issued the song on Let It Be in 1970.
   
9. "Well, Darling"   (3:22)
     Paul McCartney, John Lennon: vocals
Like "Some Days" this is just a guess at the song title.  It's very likely an early Lennon/McCartney composition built around basic blues changes and featuring an early glimpse of Lennon & McCartney's Everly- inspired harmony vocals.  Sounds as if many of the verses that alternate between Lennon & McCartney are largely improvised.
   
10. "You Must Write Everyday"   (2:35)
     Paul McCartney: lead vocal
Another simple, but effective early McCartney composition.  Paul doesn't seem to he singing actual words in many places, but he has a basic outline for one of those innately catchy McCartney-brand melodies.  This song suffers from some unfortunate dropout that appears on the source master.
   
11. That's When Your Heartaches Begin   (1:16)
     {Raskin / Brown / Fisher}
     John Lennon: lead vocal
Although the Beatles didn't know it at the time, this was one of the first songs Elvis recorded at Sun studios in 1953 that remained unissued until 1992.  This version is no doubt inspired by Elvis's 1957 recording with the Jordanaires for RCA.  Paul and George add a doo wop backing vocal to John's exaggerated but loving Elvis impersonation.   
   
12. Hello Little Girl   (1:53)
     {Lennon / McCartney}
     John Lennon and Paul McCartney: vocals
This earliest known version of John's supposed first composition makes an unmistakable nod towards one of the Beatles' greatest inspirations.  The arrangement and lead guitar are straight off any number of Buddy Holly records they were worshipping at the time.   The bridge here is very different than later versions of the song we're familiar with, although the last
two lines leading back to the verse are the same.  Another wonderful example of John and Paul's early harmony duets.  Catch up Stu!
   
13. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise   (2:41)
     {Seitz / Lockart}
     Paul McCartney: lead vocal
McCartney turns in a soulful country vocal on this rendition of a song familiar to Les Paul and Mary Ford fans. While his
mannerisms are still a bit exaggerated, it's not too hard to see a great vocalist in the making.
   
14. "I Don't Know" (Improvisation)   (5:58)
        Paul McCartney and John Lennon: scat vocals
McCartney and Lennon trade improvised vocals over this basic blues jam that's similar in feel and sound to track 9, "Well,
Darling." McCartney repeatedly sings "Johnny, Johnny" and at one point we hear him sing "Time don't wait when I'm callin' you, Johnny boy...please Johnny, won't you tell me?"  John responds, "I'm gonna see my sister Sue.  If she don't want to see me I don't know really what I'm gonna do...I don't know, I don't know."
   
15. "I Don't Need No Cigarettes, Boy" (Improvisation)    (5:59)
        Paul McCartney and John Lennon: scat vocals
Another blues jam featuring improvised McCartney and Lennon vocals. Paul urges John with the line "Well, Johnny, just keep that solid beat...keep a rock beat" and later "I don't need no cigarette, boy, I prefer to see if you've got 'em," perhaps musically asking for a ciggie.  John also sings a verse from "One After 909."
   
16. "That's An Important Number" (Improvisation)    (7:58)
     Paul McCartney: scat vocal
The name given to this plodding instrumental jam refers to McCartney's ending comment "That's an important number." At one point we hear someone instruct another to "go test your mike out."
   
17. Improvisation   (4:59)
Some of the lead guitar bits coupled with the jaunty rhythm on this instrumental jam almost sound like an embryonic "She's A Woman." At the end of this track you can hear someone yell to "turn the mixers off."
   

 

Disc 2

1. I'll Follow The Sun   (1:49)
     {Lennon / McCartney}
     Paul McCartney: lead vocal
As mentioned earlier, this recording was first aired on a German TV program called Damals In Hamburg in 1966. This helps support the theory that this could possibly have been recorded during the Beatles first visit to Hamburg.  It features Paul on lead vocal and guitar, Stu on bass, and somebody, possibly John, drumming on a box or a case.   Like the version of "Hello Little Girl" on disc one, this one features a different bridge and was subject to a rewrite before it was finished for inclusion on Beatles For Sale in 1964.
   
2. Hallelujah, I Love Her So   (2:37)
     {Charles}
     Paul McCartney: lead vocal
A longer version of this Ray Charles composition than was included on Anthology 1. The Beatles no doubt learned this song from Eddie Cochran's version judging from McCartney's references to "Eddy" throughout the song.  Cochran was on tour with Gene Vincent in 1960 when he lost his life in a car accident that also injured Vincent.  This is probably a later recording judging by the inclusion of electric guitars.
   
3. One After 909   (2:29)
     {Lennon / McCartney}
     John Lennon and Paul McCartney: vocals
Here's an electric version of "One After 909" that was probably recorded sometime after the version featured on disc 1.
Another enlightening glimpse at the development of this enduring Lennon/McCartney composition.
   
4. Movin' And Groovin' / Ramrod   (3:50)
     {Eddy / Casey} {Eddy / Hazelwood}
These two electric guitar instrumentals are from the Duane Eddy songbook.  Both songs were recorded separately, but the
master source has been edited together to create a Duane Eddy "medley."
   
5. Improvisation   (11:54)
This is another instrumental jam like the ones that close out disc 1.  However, this track is performed on electric guitar and finds the Beatles further along in their musical development and level of confidence.
   
6. Improvisation   (7:48)
7. Improvisation   (11:16)
8. Improvisation   (17:51 CD version)  (13:34 CDR version)
Tracks 6 through 8 are more instrumental acoustic jams that are primarily blues based.   While these tracks can admittedly be a bit tedious at times, it's still fascinating to have the opportunity to be a fly on the wall at an early Beatles rehearsal.
   

 

    

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