This is why the Beatles’ first live album took a decade to come out

The Beatles are proof that no matter how popular you are in the music industry, you still can’t release a live album as easily as possible.

Beatles fans finally got the band’s first live album 44 years ago. Title, “The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl”, the album became one of their hit pieces before their separation.

However, fans noticed that the first live album took more than a decade to release, and the reason behind it had nothing to do with the members’ lack of trying.

Two years after the event was taped live, Capitol Records – the band’s US label – began thinking about capitalizing on the Beatles’ popularity.

The idea for a live album was born, but they ran into a problem due to the limitations of technology in the 1970s and a dispute with the American Federation of Musicians when George Martin wanted to record it at Carnegie Hall. from New York.

As this proved impossible, Martin and the Beatles decided to instead tape the band’s first performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

The creation of the Beatles’ first live album

In August 1964, they played a 12-song set in front of nearly 19,000 fans. As the tape rolled smoothly and the whole performance sounded good, the screams from the crowd made the tapings unnecessary.

“You were recording the band in stereo on two tracks and keeping the vocals separate on the third so you could raise or lower it in the mix. But at the Hollywood Bowl, they didn’t use three tracks quite properly. … The recording seemed to focus more on the wild screams of 18,700 children than the Beatles on stage,” Martin reminded.

The group then continued to perform after their unsuccessful attempts. In 1970, they apparently dropped the idea of ​​releasing a live album as they went their separate ways before “Let It Be” was released a month later.

Capitol immediately approached Phil Spector after the producer managed to make the final album despite its difficulty.

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In 1977, Martin finally got a call from Capitol Records president Bhaskar Menon asking him to listen to the recorded tapes again.

“My immediate reaction was, as far as I remember, that the original tapes sounded rotten. So I said to Bhaskar, ‘I don’t think you have anything here.’ But when I listened to the Hollywood Bowl tapes, I was amazed at the rawness and vitality of the Beatles’ singing, so I told Bhaskar I’d see if I could line up the tapes with the recordings of today,” he said.

The producer began working with engineer Geoff Emerick and the two men, and they managed to salvage 13 of the 22 songs. Martin then convinced the four members to give the live album their blessing, and it was finally released in 1977 – earning several records and accolades despite the Beatles breaking up.

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