Capitol Announces Long Overdue Re-Issue Of The Beatles 'At The Hollywood Bowl'!
This week, Capitol Records announced the looooooong-overdue re-release of the Beatles' At The Hollywood Bowl on September 9 to coincide with the theatrical release of Ron Howard's documentary "Eight Days A Week, which focuses on the band's touring years.
Released in 1977, At The Hollywood Bowl was culled from two concerts at the esteemed outdoor L.A. venue in 1964 and 1965. Upon its release, the album rocketed to #2 on the Billboard charts and then, just as quickly, went out-of-print, where it has remained...completely unavailable in any sort of official capacity in digital format...for decades and decades.
Thankfully, this deluxe re-issue will feature four songs not included on the original release in addition to a 24-page booklet that we suspect will recreate much of the memorabilia featured in the original vinyl gatefold album artwork.
As for the supposedly poor sound quality, pfft. George Martin's ambivalence in later years was completely unfounded as the performances themselves transcend the day's crude recording capabilities (the shows were recorded on a three-track machine, which proved difficult to find, much less work with by the mid-70's) and are essential to any die-hard Beatles fan's collection.
While the re-release of At The Hollywood Bowl is great news for Beatlemaniacs, it doesn't quite go far enough when there are still two other great 70's compilations that remain locked in the vaults. Yes, the tracks they contain are available elsewhere, but if that were the point, Capitol would not have felt the need to re-issue the U.S. configurations of the band's albums in 2014.
What 70's compilations are we referring to, you ask?
Beatles-Love Songs (1977)
I played this album so consistently as a kid that, to this day, the track order remains seared into my subconscious so that anytime I hear "In My Life", my mind immediately expects to hear "Words Of Love" come next. In later years, I would seek out the original studio albums and put all of the songs collected here in their proper chronological perspective, but for a late '70s holiday cash-in by Capitol, a kid just discovering the band could do a lot worse. Two albums, 28-page booklet, black-and-white Richard Avedon poster, and imitation leather-feel gatefold sleeve.
Beatles-Rock & Roll Music (1976)
After the success of some well-executed Beach Boys comps, the folks at Capitol decided to employ the same strategy in introducing the Beatles to a new generation of music lovers in 1976. In keeping with the compilation's title, the track listing is culled from the band's earlier days, featuring rockers like "I'm Down", "Twist & Shout", "You Can't Do That" and so on. Two-thirds of the album is comprised of that vibrant early work, a large portion of it cover material, with the last eight cuts devoted to "the beard years". One thing this album proves is that The Beatles' choice of cover material was always stellar and they never failed to top the original. That their own material fits in so seamlessly with the likes of "Long Tall Sally", "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey", and "Money" is a testament to their burgeoning songwriting skills. The packaging, with the shiny silver gatefold sleeve, and airbrushed illustrations, may seem a tad cheesy now, but that's just your adult self talking.
Admit it, the kid in you loves shiny shit.
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