Sessions

The Beatles

Number

Year

Format

SP-103

1993

CD / CDR

Note: The packaging lists this as SP-103, but the matrix on the CD version has it as SP-104.

Special Features

Comes with a 36 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 (1993 Original)
 

CD (1994 Reissue)
 

CDR
 

The Booklet:

The booklet included with this title features the following information:

- Liner notes about the Sessions project (reproduced below)
- Detailed track notes (reproduced below)
- Geoff Emerick's comments about Sessions (reproduced below)
 
- "Historic Beatles Tunes Await Release" article by David Wigg (not reproduced) 
- U.S. master numbers assigned in 1976 to previously unissued Beatles' recordings (not reproduced)

 

14 Tracks - Total Time: 39:33

1. Come And Get It   (2:28)
2. Leave My Kitten Alone   (2:56)
3. Not Guilty   (3:22)
4. I'm Looking Through You   (2:58)
5. What's The New, Mary Jane?   (6:07)
6. How Do You Do It   (1:56)
7. Besame Mucho   (2:36)
8. One After 909   (2:57)
9. If You've Got Troubles   (2:24)
10. That Means A Lot   (2:29)
11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps   (3:29)
12. Mailman Blues   (1:55)
13. Christmas Time (Is Here Again)   (1:13)
14. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da   (2:43)

   

Liner Notes:

Between September 4, 1962 and May 8, 1970, the Beatles recorded and released over 200 different recordings through EMI Records.  The fact that during that time, and the period 1962 through 1966 in particular, they were also busy giving live performances, making movies and TV appearances and satisfying the demands of the world's media, makes their recording output even more extraordinary.

Even before the Beatles split up and stopped recording as a group in 1970, these was talk of unreleased tracks lying undiscovered in studio vaults.  These stories, depending on your source, put the number of unissued titles anywhere between 50 and 250.  The truth, however, is a vastly different story; only a handful of titles were recorded that, until now, have remained unreleased.

The claims, from fans and media alike, that EMI was sitting on a veritable "gold mine" of unreleased material have steadily grown over the past 15 years fired by material continually appearing on bootlegs or being played on the radio.

The most likely sources of this material are well known to Beatles fans and collectors:

1) BBC RECORDINGS - Between March 1962 and June 1965 the Beatles recorded, in BBC Studios in Manchester and London, 36 songs for radio broadcast only.  They were not recorded by EMI for commercial release.  The Beatles also re-recorded many of their early hits and album tracks at the same time, but it is the original material that has stirred the public's interest.

2) PUBLISHER'S DEMONSTRATION TRACKS - It has been widely and wrongly assumed that the Beatles recorded all the songs they composed for other artists.  They did, however, as composers, demo some songs for their publishers.  Based on the tracks that have been unearthed, these few demos consist purely of vocals with an acoustic guitar accompaniment and were probably recorded at home or in the publishers' demo studio.

3) OTHER STUDIOS - Towards the end of their career as a group, the Beatles did record in other studios apart from Abbey Road; for example Trident, Apple and Twickenham Film Studios where much of the "Let It Be" material was recorded.  It is therefore quite possible that some songs were recorded in a rough form but these were never delivered to EMI. 

However, it's the tracks that EMI do have, those that appear on this album, that are of most interest and we take up the story in 1976 when the Beatles' contract with EMI finally came to an end.  At that time executives in the company sat down and listened to all the material that had not been released.  In the main it existed in the form of rough mixes only and few were considered suitable for commercial release.  One track, "Leave My Kitten Alone," was seriously  considered for release as a single in 1980, but with the tragic death of John Lennon in December of that year, the idea was abandoned.

At the beginning of 1982, with the 20th anniversary of the release of "Love Me Do," the Beatles' first single for EMI, fast approaching and in response to scores of letters from fans, it was decided to appoint one person to undertake the mammoth task of listening to every tape the Beatles had recorded for EMI and log any reference to material that was previously unknown.

The task was undertaken by Abbey Road studio engineer John Barrett and, although no new tracks were found, John did discover many interesting alternate versions of previously released songs.  In fact, when Abbey Road presented "The Beatles At Abbey Road" in the summer of 1983, much of the audio material had been discovered by John during his research.  Tragically, John died in February 1984, but the fruits of his painstaking research remain.

After appraising the original unreleased tracks once more, and listening to the alternate versions discovered by John Barrett, it was decided that all the titles recorded in anything but mono would benefit from being remixed.  Geoff Emerick, who had worked with the Beatles and engineered many of their recordings, was approached and asked to listen to the multi-tracks and remix them in order to improve the overall sound quality.

Geoff set to work in Air Studios in London and Montserrat, and when he finally presented a tape to EMI it was clear that the end product was an album that justified its release both historically and musically.

 

Track Notes:

1. Come And Get It   (McCartney)  (2:28)   Lead vocal: Paul
Recorded in Studio 2, Abbey Road on July 24, 1969; the same day as "Sun King."  This song was given to the Apple band Badfinger and became their first hit in 1970.  It was also featured in the movie "The Magic Christian" which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr.
  
2. Leave My Kitten Alone   (Turner-McDougall)   (2:56)  Lead vocal: John
Recorded in Studio 2, Abbey Road on August 14, 1964 during sessions for the "Beatles For Sale" album.  This late fifties rocker was previously recorded by, amongst others, Little Willie John and Johnny Preston.
  
3. Not Guilty   (Harrison)  (3:22)   Lead vocal: George
This track, recorded on August 8, 1968 in Abbey Road Studio 2, was intended for release on the "White Album" in November 1968 but never made it onto the final album.  It has been long rumored that a certain well-known guitarist is featured on this recording.  Incidentally, George re-recorded a gentler version of this song on his 1979 Dark Horse album "George Harrison".
  
4. I'm Looking Through You   (Lennon-McCartney)   (2:58)  Lead vocal: Paul
The final version of this song appeared on the "Rubber Soul" album in December 1965.  This is take one, recorded on October 24 that year, again in Studio 2.  Although this version is longer than the one on the album, the "bridge," or middle part of the song, does not appear - probably because it had not been written at the time.
  
5. What's The New, Mary Jane?   (Lennon-McCartney)  (6:07)  Lead vocal: John
Like George's "Not Guilty," this track was also recorded during the "White Album" sessions (in Studio 2) on August 14, 1968.  However, it was again omitted from the final album.
  
6. How Do You Do It   (Mitch Murray)   (1:56)  Lead vocal: John
Recorded on September 4, 1962, the same date as the original commercial version of "Love Me Do," with Ringo drumming.  Much has been written about the group deliberately performing this song badly in order to have their own song chosen as the second single, but as this track was recorded a month before the release of "Love Me Do," this theory would appear to be somewhat far-fetched.  The song was later recorded by Gerry and the Pacemakers and became their first Number One in the U.K.
  
7. Besame Mucho   (Velazquez-Skylar)   (2:36)  Lead vocal: Paul
On June 6, 1962 the Beatles recorded for the first time at EMI's Abbey Road Studios.  At this stage the group consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and on the drums, Pete Best.  Four titles were recorded - early versions of "Love Me Do," "P.S. I Love You," "Ask Me Why" plus "Besame Mucho."  The song, which dates back to the thirties, was revised in the late fifties and had long been part of the Beatles stage set.  It was included in their audition for Decca in January 1962.
  
8. One After 909   (Lennon-McCartney)   (2:57)  Lead vocal: John and Paul
Despite being one of the earliest Lennon/McCartney compositions, "One After 909" didn't make it onto vinyl until 1970 when it was included on the "Let It Be" album.  This version, however, was recorded on March 5, 1963, the same day as the first takes of "From Me To You" and "Thank You Girl".
  
9. If You've Got Troubles   (Lennon-McCartney)   (2:24)  Lead vocal: Ringo
This previously unreleased Lennon/McCartney original was recorded on February 18, 1965 during sessions for the "Help!" album.  It was no doubt intended as Ringo's vocal contribution on the album, but was ultimately replaced by "Act Naturally".
  
10. That Means A Lot   (Lennon-McCartney)   (2:29)  Lead vocal: Paul
Recorded on February 20, 1965 during sessions for the "Help!" album.   The track was given to P.J. Proby and he had a minor hit with his version later that year.
  
11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps   (Harrison)   (3:29)  Lead vocal: George
Recorded on July 25, 1968, this version demonstrates how a song can change between the first take and the final released version.  Take one features only George singing and just two instruments - acoustic guitar and keyboards.  It's interesting to note that the last verse of the song was not retained when it was re-recorded for inclusion on the "White Album".
  
12. Mailman Blues   (Lloyd Price)  (1:55)   Lead vocal: John
Recorded on January 29, 1969 during the sessions for the "Get Back" album that was later re-titled "Let It Be".
  
13. Christmas Time (Is Here Again)   (Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey)   (1:13)  Lead vocal: The Beatles
Between December 1963 and December 1969 the Beatles fan club issued seven Christmas flexi discs to their members.  These records, which have become collector's items, ranged from more or less audio "thank you's" to their fans through to mini pantomimes.  Although the records featured strongly the Beatles' madcap humor, some music was featured, particularly on the 1967 release, which originally featured this track, recorded on November 28, 1967.
  
14. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da   (Lennon-McCartney)   (2:43)  Lead vocal: Paul
The Beatles attempted this song several times before arriving at the final version included on the "White Album."  This is an earlier version begun on July 3, 1968.  It was not originally intended for the "Sessions" album, but rather as the B-side to the single of "Leave My Kitten Alone."  

 

Since I started recording The Beatles on the "Revolver" album on through to "Sgt. Pepper" and "Abbey Road," I have seen the recording process go through many stages, from 2 tracks to 24 tracks, even 48 tracks.

The advances that have been made technically, over the years, have enabled me to enhance the original sound of these songs and to present them to you at their full potential, musically and artistically.

Hope you enjoy it.

GEOFF EMERICK

   

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