Release Date: Sep 9, 2016
Record label: Capitol
Long lost Beatles live set rediscovered and remastered Released in 1977 on vinyl and cassette but never put out on CD, Hollywood Bowl has always been, for many Beatles fans, the great lost album. The Beatles themselves disliked it for the very reasons fans love it – the screams (human feedback!), the bum notes and the chaos, so different from the studio perfection of, say, Abbey Road. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads But Hollywood Bowl, put together brilliantly at the time by George Martin from two different shows, lets us hear The Beatles at the peak of their fame – exciting, harassed, fan-battered and, frankly, superb.
The first thing you hear are the screams, which may be the most famous screams in history: fans losing their assembled minds for the Beatles, a frenzy that celebrates and feeds itself. Against that roar, it barely matters if the band makes a noise – which is part of the reason the Beatles would retire from the road a year after the last of the shows captured on this live recording. But they do, and the way the screams and music dance across these 17 songs — recorded during three nights in 1964 and 1965 and spliced into a seamless rush of manic love — is what makes Live at the Hollywood Bowl such a thrill.
The first thing that hits you is the screaming. The white noise of thousands and thousands of young girls yelling at the top of their range. It’s like it’s being pulled out of them, an uncontrollable urge to roar. It seeps into the music, into the beat. It becomes part of the performance, part ….
Capitol Records initially planned to release a live album from the Beatles in 1964, recording the band's August 23 concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Nobody at the label found the results satisfactory so they attempted it again almost exactly a year later, taping the August 29 and 30, 1965 shows at the Hollywood Bowl but, once again, it proved hard to hear the Fab Four from underneath the roar of the crowd, so those tapes were also shelved. They remained in the vaults until 1977, when Capitol president Bhaskar Menon asked George Martin to assemble a listenable live album from the two sets of Hollywood Bowl tapes, all with the idea of combating the rise of bootlegs and quasi-legit Beatles live albums.
The first thing you hear on this buffed-up version of live album The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl is a wall of piercing fans’ screams. The sonic dominance of that cacophony over the Fab Four’s performance was one of the reasons that the original release – taken from two concerts the band held at the venue at the height of Beatlemania – took until 1977 to surface, and is regarded as one of the weaker albums in their catalogue. Now, though, to coincide with the documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, the recordings have been remixed and remastered by George Martin’s son Giles, with four additional tracks, including I Want to Hold Your Hand.