Anthology 1

By The BeatlesOfficial album• Part of the collection “The Beatles • Post break-up albums

Timeline See what happened in November 1995
UK release date:
Nov 20, 1995
US release date:
Nov 20, 1995
Publisher:
Apple
Sessions This album has been recorded during the following sessions

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Track list

Disc 1


1.

Free as a Bird

Written by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison

4:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Producer, Vocals
John Lennon:
Piano, Producer, Vocals
Jeff Lynne:
Guitar, Harmony vocals, Producer
George Harrison:
Acoustic guitar, Electric slide guitar, Producer, Ukulele, Vocals

Recording:
Circa 1977
Studio:
New York

Session Recording:
February / March 1994
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


2.

"We Were Four Guys... That's All"

0:13 • Interview • John Lennon speaking to Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone, 8 December 1970, New York City.


3.

That'll Be the Day

Written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison

2:08 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Guitar
John Lennon:
Guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Guitar
John 'Duff' Lowe:
Piano
Colin Hanton:
Drums

Session Recording:
Jul 12, 1958
Studio:
Phillips Sound Recording Service


4.

In Spite of All the Danger

Written by Paul McCartney, George Harrison

2:45 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Guitar
John Lennon:
Guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Guitar
Percy F Phillips:
Engineer
John 'Duff' Lowe:
Piano
Colin Hanton:
Drums

Session Recording:
Jul 12, 1958
Studio:
Phillips Sound Recording Service


5.

"Sometimes I'd Borrow... Those Still Exist"

0:18 • Interview • Paul McCartney speaking to Mark Lewishon, 3 November 1994, London.


6.

Hallelujah, I Love Her So

Written by Ray Charles

1:13 • DemoB1

Paul McCartney:
Guitar, Vocals
John Lennon:
Guitar
George Harrison:
Guitar
Stuart Sutcliffe:
Bass

Session Recording:
Circa July 1960
Studio:
20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool (Paul's House)


7.

You'll Be Mine

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:39 • DemoA1

Paul McCartney:
Guitar, Vocals
John Lennon:
Guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Guitar
Stuart Sutcliffe:
Bass

Session Recording:
Circa July 1960
Studio:
Paul McCartney's Childhood Home - 20 Forthlin


8.

Cayenne

Written by Paul McCartney

1:14 • DemoB

Paul McCartney:
Guitar
John Lennon:
Guitar
George Harrison:
Guitar
Stuart Sutcliffe:
Bass

Session Recording:
circa April 1960
Studio:
Paul's House Forthlin Road Liverpool


9.

"First of All... It Didn't Do a Thing Here"

0:07 • Interview • Paul McCartney speaking to Malcolm Threadgill during a hospital radio interview with the Beatles mainly conducted by Monty Lister. Recorded 27 October 1962 backstage at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight, Cheshire.


10.

My Bonnie

Written by Traditional

2:42 • Studio versionA5

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
Pete Best:
Drums
Bert Kaempfert:
Producer
Karl Hinze:
Engineer
Tony Sheridan:
Lead guitar, Vocals

Session Recording:
Jun 22, 1961
Studio:
Friedrich-Ebert-Halle


11.

Ain't She Sweet

Written by Milton Ager, Jack Yellen

2:13 • OuttakeA

Paul McCartney:
Bass
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
Pete Best:
Drums
Bert Kaempfert:
Producer
Karl Hinze:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jun 24, 1961
Studio:
Studio Rahlstedt, Wandsbek, Hamburg


12.

Cry for a Shadow

Written by John Lennon, George Harrison

2:22 • OuttakeA

Paul McCartney:
Bass
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
Pete Best:
Drums
Bert Kaempfert:
Producer
Karl Hinze:
Engineer

Session Recording:
June 22nd-23rd 1961
Studio:
Friedrich-Ebert-Halle


13.

"Brian Was a Beautiful Guy... He Presented Us Well"

0:10 • Interview • John Lennon speaking to David Wigg of the [London] Daily Express and BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard (broadcast November 1971). Interview recorded October 1971 in New York City.


14.

"I Secured Them... A Beatle Drink Even Then"

0:19 • Interview • Brian Epstein reading an extract from his autobiography A Cellarful Of Noise. He intended to record enough material for an album but the sessions were not completed and the tapes have remained unheard until now.


15.

Searchin'

Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

3:00 • Studio rehearsalA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
Pete Best:
Drums
Mike Smith:
Producer

Session Recording:
Jan 01, 1962
Studio:
Decca Studios


16.

Three Cool Cats

Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

2:25 • Studio rehearsalA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
Pete Best:
Drums
Mike Smith:
Producer

Session Recording:
Jan 01, 1962
Studio:
Decca Studios


17.

The Sheik of Araby

Written by Ted Snyder, Harry B. Smith, Francis Wheeler

1:43 • Studio rehearsalA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
Pete Best:
Drums
Mike Smith:
Producer

Session Recording:
Jan 01, 1962
Studio:
Decca Studios


18.

Like Dreamers Do

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:36 • Studio rehearsalB

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
Pete Best:
Drums
Mike Smith:
Producer

Session Recording:
Jan 01, 1962
Studio:
Decca Studios


19.

Hello Little Girl

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:40 • Studio rehearsalB

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
Pete Best:
Drums
Mike Smith:
Producer

Session Recording:
Jan 01, 1962
Studio:
Decca Studios


20.

"Well, The Recording Test... By My Artists"

0:32 • Interview


21.

Besame Mucho

Written by Consuelo Velázquez

2:37 • Studio rehearsalA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
Pete Best:
Drums
Ron Richards:
Producer

Session Recording:
Jun 06, 1962
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


22.

Love Me Do

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:32 • Studio rehearsalC

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
George Harrison:
Acoustic rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
Pete Best:
Drums
Ron Richards:
Producer

Session Recording:
Jun 06, 1962
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


23.

How Do You Do It?

Written by Mitch Murray

1:57 • OuttakeA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Sep 04, 1962
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


24.

Please Please Me

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:59 • OuttakeC • Earliest available take.

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Harmonica, Lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
Andy White:
Drums

Session Recording:
Sep 11, 1962
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


25.

One After 909

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:23 • OuttakeB • Sequence, takes 3, 4 and the beginning of take 5

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


26.

One After 909

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:56 • OuttakeC • Complete, takes 4 and 5

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


27.

Lend Me Your Comb

Written by Kay Twomey, Fred Wise, Ben Weisman

1:50 • Radio showL1

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
Terry Henebery:
Producer

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 16, 1963



29.

We Were Performers... In Britain (interview)

0:12 • Interview


30.


31.

From Me to You

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:06 • LiveL1

Klas Burling:
Producer
Hans Westman:
Engineer

Concert From "Pop '63" in Stockholm, Sweden on Oct 24, 1963




34.

Roll Over Beethoven

Written by Chuck Berry

2:22 • LiveL3

Klas Burling:
Producer
Hans Westman:
Engineer

Concert From "Pop '63" in Stockholm, Sweden on Oct 24, 1963

Disc 2







6.

Boys, What Was I Thinking...

2:06 • Outtake

Concert From "The Morecambe And Wise Show" in Borehamwood, United Kingdom on Apr 18, 1964



8.

Can't Buy Me Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:10 • OuttakeC • Takes 1 and 2. [...] the previously unreleased Paris recording of Can't Buy Me Love presented here, all vocals and instruments live, is Take 2 (with the main guitar solo "flown in" from Take 1). Paul's vocal style was more bluesy in these first two rough takes - though it should be recognised that he was not attempting a definitive vocal track - while John and George's backing vocal idea was later dispensed with too.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 29, 1964
Studio:
EMI Pathé Marconi Studios, Boulogne-sur-Seine, France



10.

You Can't Do That

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:42 • OuttakeD • Take 6. The recording featured the combined sound of John Lennon's lead and George Harrison's 12-string guitars - George acquired the instrument in America, and its sound was prevalent throughout there sessions. The master version was Take 9 but the one presented here is Take 6: an attempt at perfecting the basic track while John delivered a guide vocal. It was usual for the Beatles to record with a live (if only guide) vocal until around the time of Revolver in 1966.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


11.

And I Love Her

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:52 • OuttakeE • Take 2. And I Love Her is admired and enjoyed as one of Paul McCartney's earliest and warmest ballads, the master recording being the second take of a second remake, from 27 February 1964. Two days earlier, when the Beatles first taped the song, the approach was different. Presented here is the unreleased Take 2 - the first complete run-through - which is not so gentle, featuring the full-group sound of guitars, drums and, unusually, a picked electric guitar.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


12.

A Hard Day's Night

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:44 • OuttakeE • Take 1. [...] Presented here, however, is the previously unreleased first recorded run-though, Take 1, with numerous vocal and instrumental variations from the master. The crashing guitar chord that distinguished that master version is already in place, but the bridge, later plugged by a piano played by George Martin, was filled here by a guitar solo. The Beatles recognised that Take 1 was never going to be the best take, hence the laughter as the recording began to dissolve, but it captures the essence of the productive yet fun sessions that were typical of this period.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Apr 16, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


13.

I Wanna Be Your Man

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:48 • OuttakeL2

Terry Johnson:
Engineer
Jack Good:
Producer

Session Recording:
Apr 19, 1964
Studio:
IBC Studios, London, UK


14.

Long Tall Sally

Written by Richard Penniman, Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell

1:45 • OuttakeL4

Terry Johnson:
Engineer
Jack Good:
Producer

Session Recording:
Apr 19, 1964
Studio:
IBC Studios, London, UK


15.

Boys

Written by Luther Dixon, Wes Farrell

1:50 • OuttakeL2

Terry Johnson:
Engineer
Jack Good:
Producer

Session Recording:
Apr 19, 1964
Studio:
IBC Studios, London, UK


16.

Shout

Written by O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley

1:31 • LiveL1

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
Terry Johnson:
Engineer
Jack Good:
Producer

Session Recording:
Apr 19, 1964
Studio:
IBC Studios, London, UK


17.

I'll Be Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:13 • OuttakeD • Take 2. I'll Be Back was recorded from start to finish in a single session. Take 16 was released but the unissued takes Two and Three are presented here. The former illuminates how John conceived his song as a waltz (the Beatles' fondness for waltz arrangement dated back to Cavern Club performances of James Ray's If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody). Take 2 broke down, however, because, to use John's own words, it was "too hard to sing", and it is segued here into Take 3 [...]

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jun 01, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


18.

I'll Be Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:58 • OuttakeE • Take 3. [...] Take 3 in which the arrangement has been altered from 3/4 to the 4/4 tempo approaching the master version - proof of the speed with which the Beatles could switch their ideas.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jun 01, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


19.

You Know What To Do

Written by George Harrison

1:59 • DemoA

Paul McCartney:
Bass
John Lennon:
Tambourine
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jun 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


20.

No Reply

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:46 • DemoC • [...] this 3 June demo recording of the song certainly has not been heard before. It was announced at the time that John was giving No Reply to Tommy Quickly, another of Brian Epstein's artists, and - as John sings it in a staccato, jaunty style more typical of Quickly's than his own - it's feasible that this demo was recorded with that donation in mind. (All the same, if he recorded it all, quickly never issued his version.) Intriguingly, a drummer is evident, even though no recognised player - neither Ringo nor Jimmy Nicol - was present.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jun 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


21.

Mr Moonlight

Written by Roy Lee Johnson

2:48 • OuttakeC • Takes 1 and 4. The version on Beatles For Sale was a remake, taped at EMI on 18 October, but four unreleased takes were recorded on 14 August, and a combination of One and Four is presented here. The first broke down after John's laudable attempt at the shouted introduction. "Nearly!" commented Paul, a wry smile in his voice, as he encouraged his band mate to have another crack at it. Take 4, only the second complete run-through, lacked the organ track that distinguished the October remake, but George's guitar solo in the bridge proves that experimentation with new and different sounds was now a definite quest.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


22.

Leave My Kitten Alone

Written by Little Willie John, James McDougal, Titus Turner

2:57 • OuttakeA • Take 5. It was at ten o'clock, when Abbey Road regulations stated that sessions were supposed to end, that the Beatles began Leave My Kitten Alone. This had been a 1959 R&B hit for Little Willie John, covered in 1960 by Johnny Preston, both versions entering the Billboard US Hot 100 in January 1961. The Beatles taped five takes of Leave My Kitten Alone before deciding that the last was the best and so adding overdubs ... but that's where they left it. The recording was never mixed down for release on Beatles For Sale and was destined to remain unissued for more than 30 years - until now.

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Piano
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


23.

No Reply

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:29 • OuttakeD • Take 2. Almost four months after the song had been recorded in demo form, the Beatles returned to No Reply and taped a definitive version, Take 8, for Beatles For Sale. Presented here, as balance engineer Norman Smith announced, is Take 2, unreleased, which underlines the more dramatic, bluesy style that John perhaps meant for his song. Laughter ensured that this particular take could not have been used, but it was clearly an important stepping-stone to the master version, John concluding "Well, we just found out what to do, anyway - it's good!"

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Sep 30, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


24.

Eight Days A Week

Written by Lennon - McCartney

1:25 • OuttakeC • Take 1, 2 and 4. Proven by the original session tape, the Beatles used Abbey Road as a creative workshop during the recording of Eight Days A Week. A sequence of unreleased, incomplete outtakes - takes 1, 2 and 4 - have been assembled for this compilation, illustrating the different approaches the Beatles considered for the song's intro.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 06, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


25.

Eight Days A Week

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:48 • OuttakeD • Take 5, complete, features a vocal harmony ending, whereas the master version (Take 13) started and finished with guitar.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 06, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


26.

Medley


1.

Kansas City

Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

2:44 • OuttakeD • Take 2. Medley with "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey". With Paul singing lead vocal, the Beatles captured the song in two takes - the master, on Beatles For Sale, was Take 1; Take 2 is issued here for the first time.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 18, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


2.

Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey

Written by Richard Penniman

2:44 • OuttakeC • Take 2. Medley with "Kansas City". With Paul singing lead vocal, the Beatles captured the song in two takes - the master, on Beatles For Sale, was Take 1; Take 2 is issued here for the first time.

George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 18, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

About

From Wikipedia:

Anthology 1 is a compilation album by the Beatles, released on 20 November 1995 by Apple Records as part of The Beatles Anthology series. It features rarities, outtakes and live performances from the period 1958–1964, including songs with original bass player Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. It is the first in a trilogy of albums with Anthology 2 and Anthology 3, all of which tie in with the televised special The Beatles Anthology. It contains “Free as a Bird“, billed as the first new Beatles song in 25 years. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA.

The Anthology albums were remastered and made available digitally on the iTunes Store on 14 June 2011, individually and as part of the Anthology Box Set.

Content

The album includes material from the Beatles’ days as the Quarrymen, through the Decca audition to sessions for the album Beatles for Sale. It is of historical interest as the only official release of performances with Best and Sutcliffe in the band. Sutcliffe, the band’s original bass player during 1960, and sporadically during the group’s second Hamburg season, appears on the disc-one tracks “Hallelujah, I Love Her So“, “You’ll Be Mine” and “Cayenne“. Best, who was the band’s drummer from just prior to the group’s first departure for Hamburg in August 1960 until 15 August 1962 when he was replaced by Ringo Starr, is on disc one, tracks 10–12, 15–19, 21 and 22.

Disc one tracks 10–12 were recorded at a session in Hamburg where the Beatles served as the back-up band to the English rock and roll musician Tony Sheridan. Some songs from this session were released on the 1962 LP My Bonnie, credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers. The song “My Bonnie” would be their introductory single in England, featuring Sheridan on lead vocal and guitar. Disc one tracks 21 and 22 are the only surviving recordings of the Beatles’ first EMI session. Track 22 is the original recording of “Love Me Do“, which would be re-recorded by the group four months later for their first single. Disc one track 23 features EMI session drummer Andy White in place of Starr.

Disc two contains performances from comedy duo Morecambe and Wise’s popular television programme, Two of a Kind, as well as the opening song from their famed performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which introduced the band to most of the US in 1964.

The flashpoint for the album came with the song “Free as a Bird” – the three remaining Beatles Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr re-working a John Lennon demo recording given to McCartney by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono. Produced by Harrison’s Traveling Wilburys band-mate Jeff Lynne, the three added additional music and lyrics, instrumentation and backing vocals, with McCartney and Harrison both taking a turn at a lead vocal.

The live BBC Radio recording of “Lend Me Your Comb” was held back from Live at the BBC for inclusion on this album, but it was later also included on On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2.

Album cover

The cover of Anthology 1 is the first third of the Anthology collage made by Klaus Voormann. Various photographs and album covers are torn and collected together. Pete Best’s face was torn away from the Savage Young Beatles record jacket in the centre of the album cover, revealing the face of his successor, Ringo Starr, below. The missing piece was subsequently used on the cover of Best’s Haymans Green album in 2008.

Reception

The album was a large success throughout the world. It was the first Beatles album to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at number one. It sold 855,473 copies in its first week, the 27th largest one-week sales in the Soundscan history, preventing Fresh Horses by Garth Brooks from reaching No. 1—Brooks’s only ’90s studio album (after his 1991 breakthrough) to fall short of the top slot. In its second week, Anthology 1 sold 453,000 copies and maintained the top spot. This was repeated the following week, with 435,000 copies sold. In its fourth week, the same quantity was sold, but the album fell to number two, behind Mariah Carey’s Daydream. In the following week, the album fell to number three but with 601,000 sales. Anthology 1 was certified 3× Platinum by the RIAA after six weeks in the US market. In all, the album spent 29 weeks on the Billboard 200, reaching cumulative sales of 3,639,000 scans as of April 2001. In the UK, reaction was similar, but the album peaked at number two, behind Robson & Jerome’s eponymous album. In Australia, the album spent two weeks at number one in December 1995. […]

From the liner notes:

The Twentieth Century’s greatest romance or ‘just a band that made it very very big’? The latter view is John’s, in hard- hatted post-Beatles myth-demolitionmode; the former is mine, rose-coloured, with long and loving hindsight.

Of course John has the real weight, as one of the ‘four guys’ of Track 2 on Record 1: I speak only as a devotee of Arnold Bennett’s Card, whose Great Cause was “cheering us all up”. The Beatles certainly gave more cheer than almost anyone else this century, and if that isn’t a great romance, then Gold didn’t make little pink rose.

The records, film and book of the story are on their way, some of it already in your hands, and millions of fans old and new will be, again, amazed.

The story began in Harold Macmillan’s ‘never had it so good’ 50’s Britain. It should be fiction: four teenagers with no more that eight O’levels between them, running and biking and busing and busking all over Liverpool in search of new chords and old guitars, a half-decent drum kit and any gig at all.

They were determined to amount to something – in George’s words “we just had this amazing inner feeling of: ‘We’re going to do it’. I don’t know why … we were just cocky” – and make a record (in Ringo’s words “You’d kill for that bit of plastic”) and make some money and have a laugh and a shout. That would do to be going on with.

Six years later, they were the four most famous and musical young men on earth, the best dressed and on a good day quite the most captivating people anyone could remember. The narrative that began when Paul met John and clicked at a garden fete in leafy Liverpool, and ended in high dudgeon in high-end London, is so far-fetched that it needs the power of a song punctuating every page to remind you with a joyous jolt that it was all true.

We didn’t dream it … though it came out of John’s dream of the “man on a flaming pie” who said: “You are Beatles with an ‘A'” It did all happen. The whole wonderful thing did happen, a long time ago, on the Mersey, on the Elbe, by the Thames and the Hundson River. This album is the first of the bunch, the beginning of the latest incarnation. Amazing and marvellous and, nearly forty years on, forever young.

– Derek Taylor

Last updated on July 7th, 2017

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