Bootlegs Back again

Photo: Apple Corps Ltd.

Lo and behold, it’s now up again at iTunes and for the first time also in the US. But rather more expensive than the initial New Zealand release, which translated to 12 US Dollars, the price in the US is three times that amount.

US iTunes link

UK iTunes Link

iTunes Editor’s Notes:

With more than two hours of previously unreleased material, The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 tells the story of the band during a period of remarkable transformation: a year that begins with the Liverpool quartet working out arrangements during the “Please Please Me” sessions and culminates in the BBC radio sessions. With subtly different lyrical phrasing and instrumental performances, the 15 aternative studio versions of tunes like “From Me To You”, “Do You Want To Know A Secret”, and “I Saw Her Standing There” are deeply rewarding, as is the richly harmonized pop standard “A Taste Of Honey”.

But, the 42 live performances for BBC underscore the transition from local stars to the peak of Beatlemania in Britain. They respond to a call-in request with a crackling version of “Love Me Do”, burn through a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Got To Find My Baby”, and offer a bright, uptempo reading of “All My Loving”. This compilation is rounded out by two demos of songs the group never released: the midtempo “Bad To Me” and the lovely, piano-accompanied closer, “I’m In Love”.

18 Responses

  1. wardo says:

    $39.99 on the iTunes US Web page, but when you go to the store it's "This page is temporarily unavailable."

  2. wardo says:

    Update: keep refreshing. Downloading now.

  3. Unknown says:

    But for how long??

  4. bri286 says:

    …and a mere £35 on iTunes UK! Having performed their about-turn, Universal/Apple are now milking it for all it's worth. Do I know anyone in New Zealand, I wonder?

    The "hard copy" bootleg version (which will, doubtless, be with us shortly) will be rather cheaper, I suspect…

  5. Unknown says:

    Now I've paid my £34, in the knowledge that fans in other parts of Europe paid 9.99 Euros, and having seen it at $12.99 NZD on New Zealand's site, I have to come to the one of two conclusions, neither of which are particularly savoury.

    Either it was a strange ploy to get us all worked up so we'd gratefully pay anything and everything for the downloads


    The blue meanies stamped their feet and decided that "OK…you fans can have the material if you want it that badly…but you are going to have to pay for it."

    Both thoughts are disappointing to say the least.

  6. Foxx says:

    It is now priced 39.99 Euros, in Euroland

  7. johnnyreb says:

    I paid €9.99 at midnight last night on the Irish iTunes Store. Strange.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Not doubting the copyright reasons for release, but I also wonder if in the end this all just some great social media/viral experiment…

  9. Unknown says:

    Maybe there is an element of experimenting with the social media/viral aspect. Nothing would surprise me, but I do think that there are some cynical motives at play and that the release could have been handled better. As long as the future releases are handled more fairly and in a more organised manner, I'll be happy. I posted more thoughts on Beatle-gate on my blog – if you're interested, it's

  10. Tony says:

    Question: why is the text showing up in red for this item in iTunes, when for every other album it is blue?

  11. Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Unknown says:

    as much as I'd like to have this on CD, the price isn't in line with the BBC releases, even with extra material. I'm lucky enough to have "Unsurpassed Masters v 1" which covers the studio tracks here, though different takes, and I also have the 9 CD BBC box. I think I'll wait and see if we have a physical release and check pricing then.

  13. bri286 says:

    Agreed – £35 for an MP3 download is totally unacceptable. The whole lot will be available on disc for appreciably less very shortly, if you know where to look…or as a free (or cheap) download from music websites which won't rip you off.

    Let's play Universal/Apple at their own game, eh? Releasing bootlegs for even higher prices than the official material – what are they on?

  14. db says:

    Any noticeable improvement in sound quality to the bootlegs? Is Bad to me improved?

  15. wogew says:

    No, the demos are not improvements, they seem to be from bootlegs. Also, quite a number of the BBC songs seem to be from the Purple Chick BBC bootlegs. A small number of BBC recordings ARE improvements, and that also goes for the studio outtakes.

  16. db says:

    "No" to answer my own question——sounds no different to how it does on Artifacts or Yellow Dog from 20 years ago. Probably same source?

    Shameless cash-in…

    Apple: either keep it subtle like Dylan's 100-only copies, or go the whole hog like that Elvis bootleg label.

  17. db says:

    You beat me to it Roger, cheers——I'll comb through the Beeb ones.

    Shame no Flacs or wavs offered…

  18. Unknown says:

    I took a listen to the studio outtakes, and while they are certainly a sonic improvement over all bootlegs, I was horrified to hear Take 1 of One After 909; it Seems that they haven't take care of the tapes.

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