The Beatles bootlegs
The Beatles are one of the most bootlegged artists ever. Since the late 1960's, discs featuring commercially unreleased material have been illegally released.
The Original Greatest Hits
Technically, the first Beatles bootleg was a 1964 album known as The Original Greatest Hits. Th album, issued by "Greatest Records" in New York, featured a gold-colored sleeve with silhouettes of four Beatle haircuts. No artist was mentioned on the sleeve, making the album look like it was made by Beatle imitators, such as The Manchesters or The Liverpools. Such albums were common at the time. Though no artist name was mentioned, the songs were listed on the back of the sleeve. The album was sold by legitimate retailers until they discovered that the compilation was not an official release. Interestingly, the album, issued in the US, contained the Ringo Starr version of Love Me Do, though that version of the song would not be officially released in the US until 1980. It was likely sourced from a Canadian single.
Kum Back and other early bootlegs
The first Beatles bootlegs of unreleased material were issued before The Beatles even disbanded. Kum Back, generally considered the first Beatles bootleg, was released in 1969 and featured rough stereo mixes prepared by Glyn Johns for the upcoming "Get Back" project. This featured a whole album of never-before-heard songs, as well as two takes of Get Back and an alternate take of Don't Let Me Down. The tapes themselves came from a mix prepared on March 10, 1969 that somehow appeared on the Northeastern United States by that Summer. One rumor states that John Lennon brought a copy of the acetate disc along with him when he went to Canada on September 13, 1969. Regardless of how the tapes made it to America, within a week they were slowly making their way South and West. The whole acetate was broadcast by the radio station WKBW in Buffalo, New York. Soon, WBCN in Boston also broadcast the acetate on September 22, 1969. By the end of that Fall, seemingly every underground radio station had a copy. College newspapers and even Rolling Stone began writing reviews for the acetate. By the end of the year, a limited number of copies of Kum Back were pressed. The song order was changed from the actual acetate and the sound quality was extremely poor. Despite this, the release was quite popular and the first imitation was available by December of that year. Another, newer song line-up also compiled by Glyn Johns had leaked around the same time. This one, mixed on May 28 and first broadcast in the Fall of 1969, featured recordings not available on the previous acetate, including One After 909, Dig It, Maggie Mae, and a jam of Rocker/I'm Ready/Save The Last Dance For Me. In addition to this, it also eliminated The Walk from the track line-up and offered a different take of Let It Be. Altogether, the acetate's mixing and editing was also slightly different. The tracklist was slighty rearranged. Bootlegs with a mix of both track line-ups were produced in Fall of 1969 and into 1970.
Get Back material
Copies of the Get Back acetates continued to circulate into the early 1970's. However, in 1970, there was very little unreleased Beatles material in circulation and none other than the Get Back acetates. Because of this, material would be put on bootlegs that was already legitimately released but uncommon, such as singles, B-Sides, Christmas records, and the World Wildlife Fund version of Across the Universe. Because Let It Be would not be released until May 8, 1970, many early bootlegs would invent their own titles for songs, as the correct titles had not been announced yet. Some titles were close and some titles, surprisingly, were actually working titles for the songs they described. Examples of bootleg titles for the Get Back material include:
- All I Want Is You (Dig A Pony)
- When You Walk (The Walk)
- On Our Way Home (Two Of Us)
- Sunshine and Love Girl (For You Blue)
- Everything You Are (Dig A Pony)
- Sweet And Lovely Girl (For You Blue)
- Move Over Honey (One After 909)
- Can It Walk (The Walk)
- Teddy Don't Worry (Teddy Boy)
- Don't Keep Me Waiting (The Long And Winding Road)
- Who Knows? (Dig A Pony)
One bootleg label took the fake titles even further by releasing an album of previously-released singles and inventing titles for all of them. This album, entitled Judy, predated The Beatles' official singles collection, Hey Jude. Even more Get Back material surfaced in 1970 on More Get Back Sessions. This material was part of the soundtrack of the Let It Be film taped during a screening. The first issue of the Let It Be film soundtrack outtakes was 1973's Sweet Apple Trax Volumes 1 and 2. An excellent-quality ninety-minute tape featuring material mostly from the Twickenham sessions was stretched to fit on two LPs. Though it was obvious that the record could have fit much more music on it, the album's then-unusual high sound quality ensured it sold well and was repackaged and reissued several times throughout the 1970's. The 1977 EP Twickenham Jams offered more of the January 8, 1969 Get Back session (which produced All Things Must Pass) in so-so quality. The LP version, also titled Twickenham Jams, featured the entire EP on Side A and six minutes of the June 6, 1968 interview with Kenny Everett from a rare Apple Italian promo. In 1978, the LP Watching Rainbows was released. This offered newly-released Abbey Road outtakes as well as new Get Back material from the EP of the same name and never-before-released Get Back material from January 10, 1969, recorded right after George left the group. The process of Get Back sessions being released only partially would continue for another ten years, until full reels began to turn up.
First Live Material
As early as 1970, live Beatles material began to surface. Two complete concerts surfaced in the year 1970 alone. Despite their surprisingly good quality and historical value, neither concert was identified correctly upon release. The first concert to leak was the concert at The Hollywood Bowl, taken directly from Capitol Records' mixdown of the concert. When this first became available, the bootlegs identified the concert as being at Shea Stadium. Early releases of this material include Shea, The Good Old Days, and The Only Live Recording. Of course, this wasn't the only existing live recording, because soon a recording of a concert in Philadelphia appeared. Unusually, the bootlegger not only claimed this recording was from a different city, but also made up a venue - Whiskey Flats in Atlanta, Georgia. After this release, other albums containing the show included Live Concert At Whiskey Flats, Alive At Last In Atlanta, and even Live In Hollywood. The source of the show was actually a simulcast of the show done in 1964. Audio from the concert at Shea Stadium first surfaced in late 1971 or early 1972. Because all the Hollywood Bowl bootlegs at the time claimed to be Shea Stadium, the bootlegger called the first Shea Stadium bootleg Last Live Show, which was actually at Candlestick Park in 1966. The sound came from the original 1966 UK broadcast of the concert, the original 1967 US broadcast of the concert, or maybe a more recent repeat. Either way, the music was clearly taped directly from a speaker, which resulted in poor sound quality. Another interesting early 1970's bootleg was 1972's Vancouver 1964. Not only was the show correctly labelled, but it was a double-LP featuring not only the concert, but also the press conference preceeding it, interviews with locals, and a play-by-play of the concert itself by two DJs. A clean tape of the whole show was included, during which John and Paul stayed in a great mood despite an unruly crowd. The trend of releasing concert recordings continued into 1973, when the February 11, 1964 concert in Washington DC - The Beatles' first U.S. concert ever - began to circulate on such records as District Of Columbia and First United States Performance. This audio came from a closed-circuit film of the concert. A TV broadcast of a concert in Munich on June 24, 1966 first surfaced on the LP Live German Concert and US Telecasts. The LP also featured Hey Jude and Revolution from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and three songs from Shindig, broadcast in October 1964. Also in 1973, a June 1965 Paris evening concert most likely taped from a TV broadcast appeared in above-average quality on Live Paris Olympia. The afternoon concert, from a radio broadcast, became available on Paris Sports Palais. The 1975 release Five Nights In A Judo Arena set a new, higher standard for Beatles bootlegs with its color cover, accurate song listing, and excellent sound quality. This bootleg featured a 1966 Tokyo concert taken directly from Japanese TV. The bootleg Live In Melbourne Australia was of a June 17, 1964 performance in terrible quality. Although The Beatles really did play at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in 1964, the 1975 LP Forest Hills Tennis Stadium featured songs that The Beatles had not even written yet at the time of playing the venue and the packaging stated that the music was broadcast on WBOX radio in New York. In reality, most of the album was composed of five songs from the soundtrack to the Beatles at Shea Stadium documentary and the BBC recording od Lucille with crowd sounds dubbed over it. In 1976, ABC Manchester (aka Four Young Novices) was released. This LP was the soundtrack of a Pathe newsreel called The Beatles Come To Town, which was filmed on November 20, 1963 and features live performances of two Beatles songs in Manchester. An audience tape featured in the bootleg John Paul George and Jimmy was the first time bootleg fans got to hear Jimmy Nicol performing with The Beatles. The recording was the the June 4, 1964 show in Copenhagen. Another 1966 show at the Budokan Hall originally from videotape surfaced on the bootleg The Beatles Tour: The Great Take-Over.
The first BBC recordings to become available on bootleg began to circulate around 1971. At the time, many of them were claimed to be outtakes from EMI studio sessions. The best-known of these compilations is Yellow Matter Custard (a.k.a. As Sweet As You Are). Yellow Matter Custard contained fourteen songs, only one of which, Slow Down, was previously released by The Beatles. Once it became known that these were not studio outtakes, it was thought that they were from a November 1962 BBC radio broadcast. However, if Sides A and B are reversed, it is apparent that the recordings are in fact chronological recordings of the Pop Goes The Beatles program from July to September 1963 in poor quality. It is most likely that a British fan externally taped songs that weren't available on record (Slow Down was not available on record until 1964) with a home recorder. In 1972, more BBC material began to circulate with the release of Studio Sessions 1 and Studio Sessions 2 on the TMOQ label. Like all previous releases of BBC material, the BBC recordings were billed as alternate takes from EMI sessions and some releases of the material even claimed it to be The Beatles' famed Decca audition. The twenty-four songs on this compilation were, in actuality, a good chronological record of the Summer 1963 Pop Goes The Beatles series. Though the sound quality was very poor and was obviously an off-line recording of another speaker, it was a great addition to the small amount of BBC material already available. The record The Never Released Mary Jane featured further new BBC radio recordings: three songs from Top Gear in July 1964, plus chat with Brian Matthew. The source tape in this case was a rebroadcast on the show Top Of The Pops, which offered the best quality BBC material yet. Also on the LP was Shout! from the Around The Beatles BBC TV special, as well as the standard collection of B-Sides and outfakes. By 1973, radio material was still a major staple of Beatles bootlegs with the then-lack of studio outtakes. The compilation Abbey Road Revisited featured new material, common reissues, and outfakes. Side A was mostly the Renaissance Minstrels album. Side B featured material from The Beatles' Story, including an edit of You Really Got A Hold On Me made up of half a live recording for Swedish radio and half the commercially released version. Outfakes were also included on the album, including Bye Bye Bye (really Kenny Everett), Have You Heard The Word? (really The Fut), and Kenny Everett doing a Mean Mr Mustard jingle. The only new stuff was:
- A poor quality tape of Paul's demo of Step Inside Love from a radio broadcast.
- A short jingle by Paul from the BBC radio show Where It's At called All Together On The Wireless Machine.
- John performing Don't Let Me Down and Those Were The Days on the radio during a bed-in.
- A short interpretation of Cotton Fields by John during a June 6, 1968 Kenny Everett radio show.
None of these were really studio outtakes, but they were the closest thing to studio outtakes available at the time. The bootleg Mary Jane, better known as Spicy Beatles Songs, saw the release of new BBC material, namely three songs from a February 1964 session of From Us To You as well as some chat with Alan Freeman. Also in 1973, the BBC recording of I'll Be On My Way made it onto a rare one-sided single. This was the first appearance of the Beatles version of the recording. By 1974, the song would become common on bootlegs. The 1974 bootleg Soldier Of Love was significant for the first appearance, albeit low-quality, of Soldier Of Love (Lay Down Your Arms). Other than that, it contained I Got A Woman also from Pop Goes The Beatles, and the first LP appearance of I'll Be On My Way. The second side of the album was a copy of Murray The K's 1964 EP (containing mostly interviews and a portion of Shout). A small amount of new songs, this time from Saturday Club, appeared on Rare Beatles and Happy Birthday. These included an incomplete, static-filled version of Johnny B. Goode. It was now apparent that collectors had more foresight than the BBC in preserving the BBC recordings, as most BBC recordings were destroyed shortly after broadcast. It would take many more years for it to become apparent just how many recordings had been preserved by fans. An exciting find of 1978 was the recording session from the July 17, 1964 edition of BBC Radio's From Us To You. This first appeared on a 10" EP called From Us To You: A Parlophone Rehearsal Session. These outtakes included an incomplete version of the show's theme song, a false start of I Should Have Known Better, the basic track for I Should Have Known Better, and the basic track for I'm Happy Just To Dance With You.
First Studio Outtakes
What's The New Mary Jane became the first EMI studio outtake to circulate on bootleg in 1972. It is believed that this was possible because John Lennon traded his copy to somebody in New York City. The song first became available in a poor-quality three-minute mono mix on the LP Mary Jane. In 1975, despite the fact that there was still only one studio outtake available, the album EMI Outtakes was released. This album opened up with What's The New Mary Jane (in stereo for the first time), but the rest of the album was full of common alternate mixes of songs and Side B was the Arounnd The Beatles TV show audio. Outtakes from the Abbey Road sessions finally came to light on the 1978 LP No. 3 Abbey Road N.W. 8. This included longer versions of You Never Give Me Your Money, Something, and Maxwell's Silver Hammer. It was also the first appearance of Her Majesty with the final chord. The second side featured twenty minutes of Paul and Donovan singing classic 1968 songs during the sessions for Mary Hopkin's Post Card album. Some of these tracks first appeared on Strawberry Fields Forever magazine's 1977 Christmas flexi-disc, but this was the first widescale release.
As early as 1970, various fan club Christmas messages appeared on bootlegs. In 1970, The Beatles Fan Club released From Then To You/The Beatles Christmas Album in the US and UK to fan club members. This record had all the Christmas messages The Beatles made for fan club members from 1963 to 1969. 1972 saw the first complete gathering of every Christmas message on bootleg. This record, called The Beatles Christmas Collection was released on the TMOQ label and gave non-fan club members a chance to hear all the Christmas messages in one place. This record was likely sourced from From Then To You and not the various flexi-discs sent to fan club members.
With relatively little information on the recordings of The Beatles at the time, the 1970's bootleg market was prone to numerous fake recordings. An early example of this is the 1972 record Renaissance Minstrels. This record featured classic Ed Sullivan Show performances chopped up and overdubbed with screaming crowd sounds to give the impression that the record was a lost concert. Volume Two of Renaissance Minstrels was full of Get Back acetates and pirated singles and Volumes Three and Four were group and solo tracks. The 1976 bootleg Dr. Robert featured poor-quality alternate mixes of commercially released songs, while the other side contained classic outfakes such as L.S. Bumblebee and Have You Heard The Word?. In 1977, the LP Indian Rope Trick, a name now synonymous with outfakes, was released. Although it did feature some newly-released songs, much of it was full of outtakes. Some outtakes featured included:
- A one-speaker version of the stereo mix of Hey Bulldog claimed to be an outtake.
- A one-speaker version of the stereo mix of It's Only Love, claimed to be an "acoustic version."
- A song by The Fourmost called I Love You Too claimed to be The Fourmost with Paul McCartney on vocals.
- Frenzy and Distortion from Raga, a Ravi Shankar LP released by Apple, claimed to be Not Guilty.
- My Bonnie with both English and German intros.
- Ron Nasty (Neil Innes) singing Cheese And Onions from Saturday Night Live.
- Linda McCartney doing Oriental Nightfish from the film of the same name.
This LP did, however, feature a January 1969 version of All Things Must Pass, though more of the tape would be released later. The 1978 LP 20 x 4 included solo material, recently-released material and various outfakes, including Penny O'Dell (claimed to be Paul McCartney & Wings, really Country artist Kenny O'Dell) and a supposedly alternate version of Every Little Thing (really the studio version with a twelve-string electric guitar played by a fan dubbed over).
First Wave of Resurgence of Beatle Interest
1973 saw renewed interest in The Beatles. This was caused by the Apple compilations 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 (curiously enough, released partially because of a "greatest hits" bootleg called Alpha Omega released the previous year) and solo hits such as Give Me Love, Photograph, Mind Games, and My Love. This interest carried into the bootleg market, as there were nearly three times as many bootlegs made in 1973 than the year before.
The Beatles' Story
A major source for the bootlegs of the 1970's was the thirteen-part BBC radio program The Beatles' Story. Unfortunately, though it was broadcast by the BBC, much of the information given about the songs was no more accurate than the bootleggers. The first widespread reissue of The Beatles' Story material was the early 1973 bootleg record Have You Heard The Word?. Side A featured the title song, an outfake, and fifteen minutes of Get Back material. Side B featured the following tracks from The Beatles' Story:
- I Forgot To Remember To Forget (excerpt of May 1, 1964 at BBC), narrator incorrectly states the singer as Paul and not George.
- Twist And Shout, (Swedish Radio October 24, 1963), narrator claimed it was from the Indra Club, Hamburg, 1962.
- Roll Over Beethoven, (Swedish Radio October 24, 1963), bootleggers claimed it was from the Kaiserkeller, Hamburg, 1962.
- Long Tall Sally, (master take with overdubbed screaming), bootleggers claimed it was the Top Ten Club, London, August 1963.
- Dizzy Miss Lizzy, (May 26, 1965 for BBC Radio), no source given, but it was assumed by listeners to be a studio outtake.
- Lucille, (excerpt of September 7, 1963 for BBC Radio), narrators claimed it was sung by John rather than Paul.
Surfacing of Decca Audition
The first time a recording from the January 1, 1962 audition at Decca Records surfaced on bootleg was in 1973, when the album L.S. Bumblebee was released. The album had some of the more common material, such as the Get Back sessions, as well as some obscure material, such as Hey Jude from Experiment in Television, Yesterday from the Ed Sullivan Show, and All You Need Is Love from Our World. It also contained the outfake L.S. Bumblebee, which was really a parody of psychedelic music done by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. As mentioned before, the most historically significant part was the first appearance of the Decca audition version of Love Of The Loved. At the time, fans only knew the song as a Cilla Black tune and assumed that the version offered must be from the BBC or a demo, but it in reality was the first time bootleg fans got to hear part of the Decca audition. Nobody knows how the bootlegger obtained the recording. All of the surviving Decca audition tapes finally surfaced on the 1978 LP Decca Sessions. It would take sixteen more years until there was a bootleg that played all the survivng Decca recordings at the right speed.
Peace Of Mind/The Candle Burns
See Main Article: Peace Of Mind/The Candle Burns
Perhaps the most puzzling bootlegged song is Peace Of Mind/The Candle Burns. This song first appeared on the 1973 bootleg Supertracks and was soon rereleased on the bootleg album Peace Of Mind (which also featured the first release of Carol and Lend Me Your Comb from the July 16, 1963 edition of Pop Goes The Beatles). Originally, it was claimed to be an outtake from the 1967 sessions for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that was found in an Abbey Road trash bin in 1970. Many have argued that the song is an outfake. While the story about the studio outtake in the trash can at Abbey Road Studios has been proven false by the increasing knowledge of The Beatles' studio sessions, some Beatle fans still argue that the song is a Lennon home demo made somewhere between 1966 and 1968.
Beatles vs. Rolling Stones releases
Despite the ever-increasing number of Beatles outtakes available, bootlegger began to make albums pairing Beatles and Rolling Stones material. From this, the 1973 album Battle was released. It featured early Rolling Stones outtakes and The Beatles' August 1965 Ed Sullivan Show appearance. Another bootleg album from that era was Beatles and The Rolling Stones Live, which, although it wasn't really a live performance of both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, featured three new BBC radio cuts as well as Hollywood Bowl material.
Beginning in 1973 was a bootleg series known as Cinelogue. This series featured poor-quality dubs of complete Beatles movie soundtracks. The first volume featured Let It Be, which made some sense because it had unreleased material on the disc. Later volumes featured films such as Yellow Submarine and Paul's 1973 TV special.
Beatles solo material
Because 1973 saw so many new bootleg recordings, 1974 saw a slight period of slowing down of new Beatles material. This led to more bootlegs focused on Beatles solo material and less bootlegs focused on The Beatles themselves. Around this time, new bootlegs contained Paul and George's tours and John's TV appearances.
The 1974 bootleg Stockholm managed to avoid the endless reissues that so frequently happened to 1970's bootlegs, possibly due to its poor sound quality. Still, it featured material that would be relatively rare for the next fifteen years. It was on this bootleg that the first live BBC session surfaced. Three of the four songs from the July 17, 1963 morning broadcast of Easy Beat, taped directly from the broadcast, first became availble. Due to the fact that it was an off-line recording, it was of terrible sound quality. After this, the album featured audio from the Beatles' October 30, 1963 appearance on the Swedish TV show Drop In. Side B featured all six songs from Blackpool Night Out on August 1, 1965. The 1978 bootleg Youngblood featured a complete previously-unreleased December 1963 TV special called It's The Beatles, as well as some new BBC recordings.
Due to crackdowns by the RIAA and new material becoming more scarce, the Beatles bootleg world changed. Many of the old bootleg label giants such as TMOQ and CBM packed up and moved shop, sometimes even changing names. This left newer labels like Wizardo, Melvin Records, and TAKRL to repackage material previously released by the defunct labels.
Melvin Records debuted in 1975 with the album Their Greatest Unreleased. It included previously-released BBC cuts, Let It Be soundtrack material, two outfakes, and other poor-quality material. The second Melvin LP, 21, had a slightly different line-up, but still had nothing new. Tobe Milo, a bootleg record label founded in 1976, dominated 1977 with a series of "collectors'" EPs with well designed packaging and mediocre material. Tobe Milo releases include Life With The Lennon's (sic), outtakes of John and Yoko's album Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions. The album Brung To Ewe By featured fifteen versions of Paul McCartney's song Now Hear This Song Of Mine. Tobe Milo's material continued into 1978, their second (and final) full year of operation. The first new material was released in extracts on the album The Best Of Tobe Milo Productions. Somehow, they had obtained soundboard tapes of both Beatles 1965 Houston concerts. After previews and a single, the full concerts appeared on Live From The Sam Houston Coliseum, a double-LP, and In Person Sam Houston Coliseum (evening show only). Live In Italy was another, albeit incognito, Tobe Milo 1978 release. It featured the first few minutes of the June 24, 1965 show taped by an audience member and an interview from Italian TV. Man Of The Decade, a one-sided LP, included several new minutes from the January 3, 1969 Get Back session. More of that session would turn up later. Melvin Records continued to release new material in 1978. First, there was When It Says Beatles Beatles Beatles On The Label Label Label You Will Love It Love It Love It On Your Turntable Turntable Turntable, which contained poor-quality material, although it did contain the first thirty seconds of Red Hot, a song recorded at the Star-Club in December 1962. Melvin's next release was Ed's Really Big Beatles Blasts, which contained high-quality unedited portions from all three appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. They returned with The New 21 (21 Big Ones). In reality, the record contained no new material. One of the oddest Melvin releases was the 1979 LP The Beatles vs. Don Ho. The sleeve of the album parodied the Vee-Jay record The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons. The album opened with the bootlegger attempting (and failing) to give the LP away free over the phone. Side 1 ended with somebody mumbling "I buried Joel" during Strawberry Fields Forever, a dig at "Paul is dead" theorist Joel Glazier. Don Ho appears at the end of the album, singing Tiny Bubbles. There was also Beatles material on the album, including a version of I'm Down from The Hollywood Bowl in 1965 from a radio broadcast which has appeared nowhere else. Also on the album were a rehearsal take of Give Peace A Chance from the Montreal bed-in and Maxwell's Silver Hammer from a Get Back session on January 7, 1969.
Second Wave of Resurgence of Beatle Interest
1976 saw another, larger renewal in the popularity of The Beatles. This time, the popularity was caused by Apple's new power to rerelease The Beatles' back catalogue now that their contract had expired (such as Rock 'N' Roll Music and the reissue of all the Beatles singles) and Paul McCartney's first tour of North America. To keep up with Apple, bootleggers would begin to release recordings with various gimmicks, such as attractive covers, pressing in "limited editions," or pressing on vinyl. A trend at the time was to release 45-RPM discs - singles and EPs - through magazines or fan clubs. While EMI's ability to release unavailable Beatles material spurred a new era of interest in The Beatles, it was also dangerous for the bootleg market, as the lack of new material led to repackagings and reissues. The 1977 EMI release The Beatles Live at The Hollywood Bowl saw the release of parts of two concerts which no piece of was available on bootlegs previously.
Joe Pope's Strawberry Fields Forever
A major source of bootlegs in the mid- and late-1970's was through Joe Pope's magazine Strawberry Fields Forever. In 1976 and 1977, the magazine would sell 7" discs, which, although they offered new material in good sound quality, were quite expensive and were pressed on colored vinyl inferior in sound quality to non-colored vinyl. The first single was How Do You Do It?/Revolution (from the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour). This was significant in that it was the first appearance of unreleased studio material since What's The New Mary Jane in 1972. The tape came from a syndicated RKO Radio broadcast. Another significant addition to the Beatles bootleg world from the magazine was the singles of the Decca audition, which brought fourteen of the fifteen songs recorded at the audition to the bootleg fans' ears. Unfortunately, the fifteenth track was not released until 1978, when all the recorded Decca songs were released on one LP. The final disc in the Strawberry Fields Forever series was an EP of The Beatles' November 4, 1963 appearance on the Royal Variety Show. This recording was obviously taped directly from a TV and was incomplete, fading out halfway through From Me To You.
Radio Broadcasts Again a Source
In 1977, radio broadcasts once again became a major source for Beatles bootlegs. Two new outtakes appeared on bootleg thanks to a recent Radio Luxembourg broadcast of 1967 acetates of I Am The Walrus and The Fool On The Hill. Unfortunately, this broadcast only played half of the acetate, crossfading to the released version. The acetates have since surfaced in the full versions. A French broadcast introduced the first new Get Back material in years. For the first time, bootleggers heard Watching Rainbows, Mean Mr Mustard, and Madman from January 14, 1969. More of this tape would become available not long after. Also, a US radio broadcast of a Summer 1976 Beach Boys documentary (narrated by Wolfman Jack) brought Spiritual Regeneration/Happy Birthday Mike Love from Rishikesh, India to bootleg fans. This recording previously appeared on Strawberry Fields Forever's Christmas flexi-disc.
Late 1970's Lack of New Material
The year 1979 was full of picture discs and reissues. It looked at the time like all the good Beatles material had dried up. In actuality, the 1980's would be full of new releases and previously-unreleased material. Because of private business at Capitol Records, the BBC, and Abbey Road Studios, bootleggers of the 1980's got better quality unreleased songs.
Continued Surfacing of BBC Material
The 1980 bootleg The Beatles Broadcasts featured eighteen BBC recordings from 1963 and 1964 in much higher quality than the previously released bootlegs of BBC material. Exclusive to this bootleg at the time was Clarabella, a song most Beates fans at the time were not even aware that The Beatles had covered. The Beatles Broadcasts was not only an improvement in sound quality, but also it had more elaborate packaging than most bootlegs at the time.
- The Original Greatest Hits, 1964.
- Kum Back, 1969.
- Get Back Sessions, 1970.
- Yellow Matter Custard (aka As Sweet As You Are), 1971.
- Get Back To Toronto, 1971.
- Have You Heard The Word?, 1973.
- Abbey Road Revisited (aka Those Were The Days), 1973.
- Spicy Beatles Songs (aka Mary Jane), 1973.
- Sweet Apple Trax Vol. 1 & 2, 1973.
- Supertracks, 1973.
- Peace Of Mind, 1973.
- Five Nights In A Judo Arena, 1975.
- Indian Rope Trick, 1977.
- No. 3 Abbey Road N.W. 8, 1978.
- What A Shame, Mary Jane Had A Pain At The Party, 1979.
- The Beatles Broadcasts, 1980.
- Trademark Of Quality aka TMOQ (1972-1975, 1983, 1996)
- Contra Band Music aka CBM (1971-1975)
- Wizardo (1975-1976, 1995)
- Melvin Records (1975-1979, 1999-2000)
- Tobe Milo (1976-1978, 1984, 2000)
- Audifön Records (1978-1979, 1995)
- Strawberry Records (1988-2004)
- The Swingin' Pig Records (1973, 1988-1989)
- Yellow Dog Records (1991-Present)
- Vigotone (1993-1996, 1998-2000)
- Silent Sea (1998-2004)
- Purple Chick (2001-Present)