Hollywood Bowl – mixed for quad!

1964 Hollywood Bowl concert

Renowned Beatles author Chip Madinger (see www.lennonology.com) comes to us with a great story. While researching for the excellent Strange Days Indeed, the first in a series of books on John Lennon, Madinger discovered documentation that both the August 29th (Sunday) and August 30th (Monday) 1965 shows from the 1965 Hollywood Bowl concerts had been mixed and mastered for both stereo and Quad at Record Plant (Project #623) in July 1971. There is no paperwork regarding the recording of the 1964 performance.

1965 Hollywood Bowl concert.

Although it was not documented, it is very likely that it was Phil Spector behind the board and, one would suspect, that John Lennon participated as well. The reason for this being that they had mixed six of the ten tracks on John’s Imagine LP in Quad just the day before. Capitol was getting in to the multi-channel market, and who could blame them for preparing albums by their biggest artists for holiday release.

In a single session, Quad mixes were prepared of both 1965 shows (in their entirety), after which a hybrid performance was created (which tracks were taken from which show was not annotated). The following session, both a Quad and a stereo (presumably a collapsed version of the Quad) LP master were prepared at 15 ips and taken away.

Considering the source material, one could argue that the resultant production would have been disappointing (just have a listen to the Quad Imagine LP). But how many of us would have suspected that such a recording even existed?

And, for that matter, how to prepare a three track tape for a four channel quadrophonic system? It’s of course doable today, Giles Martin and Sam Okell did manage to digitally separate instruments and vocals, as well as the audience noise for the upcoming remix of “Live at The Hollywood Bowl”, due out September 9.

The new edition “Live at the Hollywood Bowl” will be promoted with a video in mid-august, and radio shows and podcasts will be made available around a week before the release date of the CD.

Now also available to pre-order from Amazon in the UK, the vinyl album ranked no. 1 in their hourly updated best seller’s charts when we ordered it, whereas the CD edition was at no. 5.


Amazon UK – CD edition

Amazon UK – vinyl edition

Giles Martin’s people are now saying that the mix of “Baby’s in black” on the 1996 “Real Love” single was a hybrid of the August 29 and 30 performances of the song, thus the new version – which is just from the 30th – can still be promoted as previously unreleased. This info from Mitchell Axelrod.

1 Response

  1. Fred Nerk says:

    Not sure how a 4 channel mix of a 3-track tape would have turned out. The Imagine Quad mix was a little muddy and in matrix SQ, so I couldn't imagine the Hollywood Bowl album sounding to flash hot. Unless they found a way to isolate the screams with early 70's technology.

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