REVIEW: THE SILVER BEATLES: HISTORICAL DECCA AUDITION TAPE – (Misterclaudel –mccd-119)
By Beatle Bob
In their ever present attempt to issue all known variations of a Beatles recording, Misterclaudel offers us both known source tapes of the “Decca auditions" from January 1, 1962, that surfaced originally in the 1970’s. First there was a one-off release of “Love of the Loved” in 1973, then by 1977 the Joe Pope tapes were issued as 45 rpm bootleg singles on the Deccagone label though missing one song. This missing song, “Take Good Care of My Baby” was finally issued on the Circuit Records bootleg LP, THE DECCA TAPES and is the source tape for all available versions issued legitimately and on bootleg until last year, when Dr. Ebbetts released the Deccagone singles (Joe Pope’s tape) on disc from pristine virgin bootleg 45 rpm singles (THE DECCA AUDITION) and proved to be the definitive version of the sessions--offering much more pronounced and stronger bass response, but also a few extra seconds of stray notes and extraneous noises that weren’t on the Circuit Records issue.
This release by Misetrclaudel presents both versions on one disc for the first time. Yes, the Joe Pope tapes are directly taken from the Dr. Ebbetts release and there is no discernable difference. Side by side you can hear the Circuit Records version offers a tad bit more on the high end but lacks the extra punch the Joe Pope tapes offer from having a bassier sound. Being these are audition tapes and in mono, having the more pronounced bass gives it more dimension and power that is generally lacking from Pete Best’s bland drumming. All this could just be the result of different processing given that two different bootleggers mastered copies of the same tape?
The Dr. Ebbetts disc of the Joe Pope tapes and Circuit Records version have the same song order (all following Lewishon’s best guess)--but the Misterclaudel disc offers the Joe Pope discs in a different order. I’m not sure if this was the release order of the bootleg 45 rpm singles (as I don't own them) or a just the bootlegger’s guess as to what makes sense, though I suspect that possibly because of John Lennon’s comments about these sessions stating “I remember when we made our first recording. We didn’t sound natural. Paul sang 'Till There Was You' and he sounded like a woman. I sang 'Money' and sounded like a madman. By the time we made our demos of 'Hello Little Girl' and 'Love of the Loved' we were ok, I think”. The Joe Pope tapes on this CD starts out with “Money”, and has “Till There Was You” midway and ends with “Hello Little Girl” and “Loved of the Loved”. I do tend to enjoy the full song order presented here for the Joe Pope tapes as it tends to follow a bit of this logic.
I know we all have the Decca Tapes in our collection and we’re not offered anything special here, though I suspect the Joe Pope tapes might be of interest to acquire if you haven’t found the Dr. Ebbetts release of this material.
Certainly for completests and fans of factory made silver discs.
Check link for artwork and track listing:
http://www.giginjapan.com/scan174/beatl ... orical.htm