For over 20 years the
collecting public has been fed a continuing stream of bootlegs drawn from
the Twickenham sessions. These have usually been chopped up, placed
out of sequence, and presented in inferior sound quality.
course, bootleggers can only work from material
at their disposal, and in the beginning the only
material available was the film "Let It Be".
The first Twickenham material to appear, then,
came from the soundtrack of the film on a double album called "Cinelogue:
Let It Be", which was released in February, 1974
by Contra Band Music. Of course, this was back in the days before home
video, so fans were more than
delighted to be able to enjoy the "Let It Be" soundtrack on record!
The release of the "Let It Be"
videotape in 1982 provided a
new audio source, and bootlegs produced
after that date were mastered from the video
soundtrack, rather than film.
The first of these was "In a Play Anyway",
a 2 LP set on Circuit Records (matrix number TWK
2262). A further
reissue by Beeb Transcription Records (on a new plate TR-2170)
was titled "The Last Blast".
It was released in 1988 and its sound
quality is slightly inferior. Of course,
most of the film soundtrack from Twickenham is completely useless because
longer source tapes have surfaced (and the few bits that you
would still need can be
found on this set and "Get Back Journals").
In late 1974 the first completely unreleased
outtakes surfaced on the legendary "Sweet
LPs. These were originally released as two
two-LP sets by CBM using the Instant Analysis label (matrix
numbers 4182-REV-2000 and 4181-STD-2002).
This phenomenal series was among the most enjoyable vinyl bootlegs of
its era, and many of us listened to it for
hours on end, leading to a lifelong addiction to this stuff.
By the way, these LPs were
originally announced under the title "The Apple Treasure Chest Masters,
Vol. 1 & 2".
When they finally appeared, they had "deluxe"
printed sepia-toned jackets. A late '70's
repress from the original plates came with blank white labels and black and
white covers which were copies of the originals.
The "Sweet Apple Trax" LPs were copied almost immediately by Kornyphone,
which combined the material onto a single double set called "Hahst
Az Sun" (TAKRL-2950). This prompted CBM to
remaster their own release as a
double album in order to compete. It was
distributed under the title "Hot As Sun" (matrix
number 4216 REV 2000 / 4217 BLD 2002) on the
Instant Analysis label. In 1980,
single LP repressings of "Hot As Sun"
were distributed as "Sweet Apple
Tracks Crate 1"
and "Sweet Apple Tracks
Crate 2". It might be noted that the
Kornyphone issue "Hahst Az Sun" rearranged the
songs and omitted a few seconds here and there.
This set was copied many times and reissued on
a variety of single LP bootlegs, and with a full color cover as
"Sweet Apple Trax" on the Newsound Records
label (matrix NR 909-1).
The Newsound plates were also used for picture discs which came out
under the titles "Sweet Apple Trax
Vol. 1" and "Sweet Apple Trax
Vol. 2". The original source tapes
were remastered by Audifon records for the first 2
records of the 3 LP set
"The Beatles" (commonly known as
"The Black Album" released in May, 1981).
These plates were subsequently used for the first three albums of the
original "Get Back
Journals" vinyl boxed set.
More recently, an hour of the
original tapes were released on CD in "Songs From
The Past Vol. 3".
All of the material was included on the first
"Get Back Journals" CD set.
The next batch of Twickenham outtakes to appear
were on the EPs "Twickenham Jams", which popped
up in February 1977 (matrix
VC4591) and "Watching Rainbows" (which appeared in May 1977),
This material soon appeared on bootleg albums of the same names.
"Watching Rainbows" (which had more material than the EP of the
same name) came from Audifon in March of 1978, "Twickenham Jams"
was a straight knock-off on the label Smilin'
Ears (filling out the LP with non-"Get Back" sessions material).
Most of the "Watching Rainbows" performances showed up on "The
Black Album" in better quality, and the few moments that didn't are included
here on "Get Back Journals 2". It might be noted
that a second edition of "Watching Rainbows" came
out in July of 1978. This upgraded the sound
quality of the "Watching Rainbows"/"Madman"/"Mean
Mr. Mustard" tape, cutting off some of the
"Watching Rainbows" jam in the process (but don't
worry, it was restored back on "Get Back Journals").
Copies of the "Watching Rainbows" LP appeared on the 2 LP set "Behind
Closed Doors" and the boxed
set "So Much Younger Then".
Collectors had to wait a couple of years for the next batch of Twickenham
outtakes to surface. Oddly enough, the first taste of a new tape came in the
form of a sampler tape, reproduced at the end of a one-sided record from
Tobe Milo called "Man of The Decade" which came out in early
rather useless bootleg reproduced bits and pieces of various January 3rd
performances which were unbootlegged up to that time.
Later in the year the
entire tape appeared on an album called "Vegemite".
This record was quite
difficult for American collectors to find, and was the first product from a
bootlegger who later went on to fame for his CD product under the
label. The 2 LPs of
"Vegemite" (BT- 6896)
gave us our first exposure to the
January 2nd /3rd material, albeit in lousy sound quality.
The set was copied in
1981 by JM Records as
2 single LPs and retitled "The Dream is
Over Vol. 1" (JPM1081) ard
"The Dream is Over Vol. 2"
(JPM280102) in slightly lesser sound quality.
These, in turn,
were quickly copied by Sweet Sound Records as
Apple Trax Vol. III" (W-909) in even worse sound quality,
and the Sweet Sound
master (which was not even complete) was copied onto picture disc by
another bootlegger (matrix SA-3909).
Great Line Concerts copied it as a
double album called "Apple Trax
Vol.2" (15802), and Strawberry Records later
copied this issue as part of its 6 LP compilation "Apple Trax",
LP series "Applemania".
Knock-offs aside, all of the material here appears on the
Journals" CDs, as well as
"Songs From The Past Vol.4"
and "Songs From The Past
5" CDs - usually in much improved sound quality.
In May 1981 one of the classic bootlegs appeared or the Ruthless Rhymes
label -"The Beatles" ("Black Album").
A parody of the legitimate "White
Album" which could only
have appeared during the late, lamented vinyl
age. This bootleg included a wonderful "alternate" poster which neatly
complimented the original. The first two LPs here were simply repressings of
the TAKRL "Hahzt As Sun" plates, but the third album offered a significant
upgrade in quality to the "Watching Rainbows"
material, as well as adding 5
numbers which hadn't appeared up to this point.
This set was subsequently
repressed by Box Top, and the stampers were used for the first 3 LPs of the
vinyl "Get Back Journals" set. A copy of the
"Black Album" (from a different
bootlegger) was issued or the EVA label or plate LP A/B/C/D/E/F.
one of the versions of "One After
At the end of '81 new
"Get Back" session bootleg began to filter out of
Europe (with both a black and white and full color cover).
This was called
"Her Majesty" and featured a few new songs from Twickenham, plus a whole
bunch of Apple stuff which hadn't been heard before. It was almost as awful
in sound quality as "Vegemite",
and is completely useless at this point, since
all of its material has appeared in better quality on CD.
bootleg called "Wonderful Picture of You" copied the "Get Back" material on
it from "Her Majesty". This
title has also been copied as part of the boxed
set called "Apple Trax",
and by Great Live Concerts
as "Sweet Apple
Trax Vol. 3"
someone had the bright idea of
copying the entire LP onto CD - direct from vinyl.
In September 1983, "King Records"
put out "I Had a Dream",
a new bootleg
of "Get Back"
sessions which was entirely Apple. This was followed the
month by "Almost Grown" (MLK-002), an enjoyable hodge-podge of material from
both Twickenham and Apple.
Many of the performances here were later included
in the original "Get Back Journals"
and "Songs From The Past
Vol. 5" (CD) and by
this time the entire LP is quite useless.
Almost a year later, in September 1984,
King Records issued the last in
their series of "Get Back"
bootlegs, this one called
Only a couple of songs came from Twickenham, and these,
are now found elsewhere in better sound
In September of 1986 the most
ambitious "Get Back" bootleg to date
surfaced, called "The Get Back Journals". This came two ways, in a
film box, and in regular small boxes held together by a simple color wrap-around.
the set had eleven discs, it was flawed by poor sound quality and ever worse
pressing quality. It was reissued in 1993 on CD with a couple of hours of new
material added, and a significant upgrade in the sound quality.
say, it contained much material unavailable to collectors up to that time
(much of it from Apple). The entire vinyl set was copied by SUMA records
under a variety of names and having
even worse sound quality.
In January 1988 Core Ltd. released "Code Name Russia" (BL 888-2), an
excellent quality bootleg composed entirely of Twickenham outtakes.
the performances here were entirely new, and quite enjoyable - and most of
them were copied onto CD in September 1988 from the tape source as part of
the "Songs From The Past" series (Volume 2 and a small part of Volume 1, to be precise).
"Songs From The Past" Vol. 1 and 2 have, in turn, been rendered
obsolete by the two "Get Back Journals" CD sets (at least as far as
Twickenham material is concerned).
At the end of '88 another "Get Back" session
bootleg appeared on the Tiger Beat label (a subsidiary of the legendary
Starlight Records company). This LP, "Bye Bye Love",
was a knock-off of (most of) the soundtrack from a
videotape of "Let It Be" outtakes which was in common circulation among
collectors (more of the video soundtrack appears on Tiger Beat's
Document Vol. 3" LP). It's extraordinarily difficult to listen to, both
because the performances are poor and choppy and the sound quality sucks.
Needless to say, the "Get Back Journals" set
will try to see to it that you
never need go out of your way to find this hunk of vinyl.
In 1989 "Songs From The Past"
Vol. 3-5 appeared.
While Vol.3 offered
us an hour
of the "Sweet Apple Trax"
mastertape, Vol. 4 and
5 gave us a significant upgrade
of much of the material which had previously appeared on "Vegemite" (with some
bits omitted here and there, and some bits added). It's all academic at this
point, since if you have both 'Journals" CD boxes you don't need the "Songs
From The Past Vol.3-5" CDs at all.
1990 saw the rise of Yellow Dog Records. Throughout this decade they have
issued a number of important releases featuring "Get Back"
first two of these ("Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 5"
and "Celluloid Rock")
featured only material from Apple. The next two ("Get Back and 22 Other Songs"
and "Complete Rooftop Concert") both centered on Apple also
featured some new and/or upgraded Twickenham performances as part
of their "bonus"
tracks. These were followed by the outstanding release
Things Must Pass, Part l", which contained "Get Back"
featuring George on lead vocal.
This disc was split almost evenly between
Apple and Twickenham, with many of the performances being previously unheard.
Needless to say, all the Twickenham material contained on the discs
mentioned above can be found on the two "Get Back Journals" boxes.
Yellow Dog's next
"Get Back" release was
"WBCN Get Back Reference
Acetate", which contained Apple material coupled with a 33+
minute "bonus" track of January 14th material (primarily dialogue, and
painfully boring dialogue at that). This material, drawn from the identical
source tape, later appeared (along with more dull January
14th dialogue), on
"Rockin' Movie Stars
Volume 3". This was the last Yellow Dog
Back" release for some time, and the void was filled by a company calling
itself "Blue Kangaroo",
which released three discs full of (mostly) new material.
The first of the volumes of
"'69 Rehearsals" contained only Apple
material. The latter two featured much new Twickenham material (which is
gathered on this set and returned to its original context).
during this period was "Hail Hail Rock
which featured a number of new
Apple performances, but only four
Twickeoham performances, and "Corn of the
Apple", which is equally short
Yellow Dog returned to the "Get Back"
sessions with the 1994 release of "All
Things Must Pass, Part 2", another excellent quality set of performances
featuring George on vocal. This was followed immediately by
Tapes, Volume 1:, which was a hodgepodge of
Twickenham and Apple material, some
of it previously unheard and all of it in great quality.
material from these two discs is of course found on the "Journals"
expect the Apple material to be found on a future release.
followed these with "Rock and Roll", an exceptional disc which featured more
than 50 oldies performances from the sessions, a virtual encyclopedia of the
group's roots. This disc is a necessary compliment to the
because it upgrades the sound quality on some material on "The Get Back Journals".
Because you'll need it anyway for the "Journals 1"
elected not to include the new Twickenham material on it here on
1994 also saw the advent of Orange Records,
a subsidiary of Yellow
Dog, which released an eight volume set of
"Get Back" material
entitled "Rockin' Movie Stars".
While much of this material was previously unheard,
the discs were haphazardly arranged, often duplicating each other
and sometimes containing incomplete or inferior versions of things already
issued. With the exception of the third volume (which contains a
chronologically correct presentation of much of the horrid January 14th
session), none of these discs feature Twickenham material not found on
the "Journals" boxes.
Late in 1994,Yellow Dog issued the first of three boxed sets entitled
"The Ultimate Collection". Each of these four CD sets feature one full disc
of Twickenham material (the rest being non-"Get Back"
together, the three discs present ALL extant January 2nd tapes,
as well as the
first half hour of
January 3rd. Since these releases cover
this portion of the
Back" sessions so comprehensively, we have ignored that area completely on
this boxed set.
So you're probably saying "thanks for the history lesson, guys, but what
releases do I need to have all of Twickenham?
:Well, thanks to this release,
very few. To be precise,
"Get Back Journals" (Vigotone VIGO101-108),
"Get Back Journals 2" (this set), "Rock and Roll"
(Yellow Dog YD054), "Rockin' Movie Stars
Volume 3" (Orange 7) and the
three "Ultimate Collection" boxes (Yellow Dog).
This will give you all of the Twickenham material currently available. So,
until "Journals 3..."