In article <RSHAPIRO.92Aug13174636@kariba.bbn.com> email@example.com (Richard Shapiro) writes:
>I should add that the extensiveness of the Star Club recordings is an
>important factor as well. There may be individual live tracks from
>1963 that are better than this, but the breadth of repertoire on Star
>Club makes them hard to beat.
I suppose this is really a matter of personal choice. In a purely historical sense, I like to have documentary evidence (i.e., actual recordings) of the entire repertoire of Beatles' performances---as much as still exists, of course. But if given the opportunity to hear either "Red Sails In The Sunset" (Star Club) or "Some Other Guy" (Beeb), I'll take the latter, thank you. It sounds better. It moves me better. It's a superior listening experience... and where that's concerned, the breadth of the Beatles' playlist doesn't always deliver the goods. Performance quality seems to me to be a more accurate criterion of the Boys' worth as a live band.
But as we've seen, there's some confusion over what "live" constitutes.
>The Beeb recordings are fine, but they're not live.
You made the distinction that you don't count Beeb recordings as concert material, which is correct...but it's still live in studio (there may be a couple of exceptions, where some minor remastering was done), or live at the time of broadcast, or even live with a studio audience in a couple cases. The question is whether a song was performed as a straight runthrough, or whether it was engineered track by track as in Abbey Road Studios. Very few of the Beeb songs were engineered in any way. In my book, most of them count as live performances, whether the audience was at the other end of the radio dial or whether they were right in studio watching the Fabs.
The further question involves what area of the Boys' musical output most accurately represents their on-stage expertise. Here's the greater debate! You may enjoy the Star Club recordings, but the admittedly lackadasical presentation suggests that this material is not representative of the Fabs' live ability---a presence upon which their legendary popularity was based. But what material *is* most accurate? Their fairly mature concert presence, in "Stars of '63"? The Granada TV clip (in its entirety, *please*...does it exist this way anymore?), which is actually set in the Cavern Club...but only contains one song? The Decca Audition, which was recorded in studio but live, with the "original" lineup of the Beatles (including Pete)? Or live shows (captured on film) like the London Palladium or Royal Command Performance?
I know the Boys had a long-established reputation (before their celebrated EMI contract) as a powerhouse live band. I know legend suggests that they caused riots because of their wildness. And it continues to puzzle me where the evidence is of their former reputation...maybe it's not something you can hear in recorded form. I suspect much of that vibrancy and excitement (maybe even in the Star Club recording of Dec. 1962!) was wrapped up with the local context---one of those situations where you had to be there....
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