Review: Beatles-Tony Sheridan CD brings back oft-reissued tracks one more timeSteve Marinucci, Beatles Examiner
November 20, 2011
How many times have the Beatles-Tony Sheridan recordings been reissued over the years? You could probably line a wall with them all.
And now another entry, "The Beatles With Tony Sheridan First Recordings -- 50th Anniversary Edition" from Time-Life Records (also available in England, Japan and Canada), just joined the pack.
The cover of the new Beatles-Tony Sheridan CD release.
Credits: Universal Music/Time-Life Records
If you're a collector, musicwise, there's nothing here you don't already have. The Time-Life set has a total of 34 tracks, four less than Bear Family's "Beatles Bop" release of a few years back. Missing are the four versions from that disc of "Swanee River, which didn't feature the Beatles. (They reportedly did record the song and several others -- "Kansas City," "Some Other Guy" and "Rock 'n' Roll Music" -- but those tracks are thought lost.) The two discs also separate the stereo (15) from the mono tracks (19), possibly for the first time.
The 36-page booklet by Colin Escott and Hans Olof Gottfridsson includes a ton of historical information, including pictures of the contracts the Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best) signed with Bert Kaempfert (and were auctioned in April -- see the pages of the contract at the link) and also their hand-written biographies. It's too bad the book isn't a larger size. You need a magifying glass to see the documents.
If you don't have this stuff (and how many people don't?), obviously this is a necessary addition to hear the Beatles in some of their earliest (and pre-EMI) recordings. But you also might be swayed by the booklet's detailed notes about the sessions.
In these early recording sessions, the Beatles showed a spark of what was to come later. These songs are basically where it all began.