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The Beatles

 

 

Beatles Live C Wiskey Flats

I’m quite fond of the bottle + glass drawing WCF must have cut out somewhere.

Beatles LCaWFl bla

Beatles LCaWF lbl b

They could spell it correctly on the label but not on the inserts…

The cover inspiration taken from the US fan club LP release of the fan club flexi discs. The release date for this was December of 1970.

Beatles X-Mas album 2

 

USA: 1971

Source: Soundboard recording from Convention Hall, Philadelphia, PA, likely recorded by radio station WIBG-AM

Beatles Philly 64 III

Although the books Way Beyond Compare and Beatlegmania Volume One and Two claim this WCF version with ‘Whiskey’ labels came first in 1970, this is not the case. In fact, this was already the third version (and second copy) of this recording. What is undisputed is that this was the first beatleg to feature a concert recording from the height of Beatlemania, thankfully the audio quality lived up to the occasion.

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Original version: ALIVE AT LAST, East Coast bootleg, released in the spring of 1970:

Matrix: 1001 A / B

Beatles AAL

Beatles AAL stamp

Beatles AAL lbl 1

Beatles AAL lbl 2

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First copy: IN CONCERT AT WHISKEY FLAT, pre-TMOQ West Coast bootleg, released ca. July 1970.

This means either Dub or Ken came up with the fictional “Whiskey Flat” location, WCF turned it into “Flats” and CBM (see below) decided to do away with all that nonsense and that this was really from Atlanta (although the Beatles had not performed there on their 1964 US Tour).

Matrix: OPD 19 70 – 417F  /  OPD 67-2 70418F

Beatles ICaWFlat 3

 

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Third copy: LIVE CONCERT ATLANTA by Contraband, offering a degraded insert with a failed guess regarding the source (on a later reissue) and the worst sound quality of the four versions. On the other hand, the only one with a personalized label (at least for the initial pressing run). Virginia, USA based bootleg label, first CBM release probably last quarter of 1972 or first of ’73.

Matrix: 3552

Beatles Live C Atlanta 3552 3

 

Beatles Live C Atlanta 3552 o lbl

Beatles Live C Atlanta 3552 detail

A later reissue on their King Kong sub-label, ca. 1975:

Beatles live - atlanta

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Fourth copy: JL 521 Japan copy, ca. 1976:

Beatles Live Concert Atlanta JL 521

Beatles Live Concert Atlanta JL 521 lbl

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Beatles Philly IV

 

 

 

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Rolling Stones Stoned MSG corr.jpg

Insert with corrected track list. Whoever was behind the WCF releases, they certainly weren’t  informed Rolling Stones fans.

The correct track list for the A side is: Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Carol / Sympathy for the Devil / Under My Thumb – I’mFree (medley)

Rolling Stones Stoned MSG lbl A

and for the B-side: Midnight Rambler / Love In Vain / Satisfaction / Honky Tonk Women

Rolling Stones Stoned MSG lbl B

Also found with blank white labels:

Rolling Stones Stoned MSG bl lbl

Matrix: 102 A / B

USA: 1971

Source: Audience recording from Madison Square Garden, NYC on 27 November 1969. Two songs from this evening’s performance, the first and the last song on the bootleg, made it onto the official Get Yer-Ya Ya’s Out! live album (several more are on the 40th anniversary deluxe box set) and so “Stoned-M.S.G. provided the earliest look at the level of overdubbing that took place on Ya-Ya’s.

Rolling Stones 1969-11-27

Stoned-M.S.G. is a very good recording for the time, and I would go as far as to say that it is the work of the infamous Trade Mark of Quality (TMoQ), under one their many aliases [ my comment: This is not correct based what we know today: TMOQ and WCF were run by different people]. There is virtually no audience noise which leads me to believe that it was recorded with the same “shotgun” microphone that was used by TMoQ for the West Coast shows [ “They recorded the Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and Phoenix shows.” Source: Ken’s blog, episode: “It Coulda Happened this Way — LiveR Than You’ll Ever Be” It has never been reported that Dub traveled to the East Coast to record further shows.]. ” (rollingstonesnet.info)  The fact that some of these tracks appeared years later on a couple of  Ken’s ‘smoking pig’ Stones releases as filler – Mick’s Birthday Party 2LP (72017), Gimme Shelter 2LP (73009) and Play With Fire (HHCER 108) does not provide further proof (to complete this list, four tracks can also be found on the LP THE BEST OF THE ROLLING STONES LIVE IN CONCERT (BRS 775)).

Regarding the sound quality, while HOTWACKS grades the album only as “Gm”, it does appear to sound significantly better than this. Stones bootleg specialist site dbboots even assigned an excellent stereo rating.

Further cover and insert variations:

Rolling Stones Stoned MSG gree

Rolling Stones Stoned MSG

Rolling Stones Stoned MSG red

I was not able to find a reissued ‘folder-cover’ version for this title.

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Rolling Stones NYC MSG '69

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Beatles YMC wcf 2

A 1967 photo to go with tracks that almost everyone would have guessed were recorded years earlier? Perhaps the folks at WCF weren’t Beatles fans either.

Beatles YMC wcf lbl 1

Beatles YMC wcf lbl 2

Matrix: YML – 102 – A / – B

Why it says “YML” is probably anyone’s guess. This was changed for the reissue (see last entry in this post).

USA: 1971

Was it copied from TMOQ’s original by the same name (matrix BBL – 513)? I am pretty confident that WCF’s version along with the other records in their 100 series was produced in 1971 but the TMOQ record wiki originally stated that TMOQ did not release it until January of 1972.

We know that John Lennon himself was presented with a copy of Yellow Matter Custard and in exchange gave a signed album cover with the date “Dec. 7th 71.”. I had always assumed that this had been a copy of the TMOQ version but maybe that is not correct anymore?

On the other hand, the fact that WCF got all the song titles correct (misspellings on the insert aside: “I Got A Women“, “Trying, Waiting, Hoping“, see below ) tells me that they copied all of this from someone else, that this ‘someone’ could only have been TMOQ and the original version must have been released at least a couple of months earlier than January 1972, likely in September of 1971.

 

In anyway, WCF (and TMOQ) churned this album out by the hundreds, if not thousands – a lot more copies than the Stoned – M.S.G. album – as the Beatles title turned out to be a good seller and they were joined in this by another label, which (again) ripped off WCF’s insert design:

CBM/Shalom/King Kong # 3316, adding the subtitle “AS SWEET AS YOU ARE”, the CBM logo and the statement “with two bonus tracks”, which, if they meant as opposed to the versions by WCF and TMOQ, are nowhere to be found:

Beatles YMC CBM

Matrix: CBM2 C1 RI 3316 C  /  CBM2 D1 RI 3316 D

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Yellow Matter Custard was reissued in WCF’s folder-cover series ca. ’73/’74 and the matrix had now changed to YMC – 102 A/B

Beatles YMC folder

 

Beatles YMC folder 2 det

The job of putting Beatles names after each track was supposed to indicate who sang on it, plus in some cases who sang lead; it looks like John singing lead on Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman” stymied them. At least someone at WCF listened to the songs – A for effort.

The folder version’s back cover design, they were going to stick with 1967 photos and nothing could persuade them otherwise, it seems:

Beatles YMC folder b.jpg

 

 

 

When- and wherever the BBC TV production The Beatles At Shea was broadcast, Beatles fans readied their home recording devices and and rigged them so they would pick up the best possible sound from the likely tinny sounding TV speakers, overwhelmed by the recorded screams of the 50,000+.

Beatles Live

 

USA: early 1971, the absence of any “STEREO/ Compatable for  STEREO” phrase on the insert of this LP and those of # 102-04 makes me think that these may have been released before the WCF # 23 – 41 titles.

Matrix number variations: 101 A/B; 101 A / 7001 B; 7001 A/B

The only early WCF title to list a release number on the slip sheet, too bad it doesn’t match the matrix and confuses things. As ‘101’ appears in the matrix, we don’t have another contender for a # 101 WCF release but we do for # 501 (Elton John – SUPER STAR – LIVE), I will assign it # 101.

The TMOQ record wiki that used to be up at the record collectors guild UK website claims that the TMOQ bootleg by the same name copied this album and I won’t disagree:

Beatles Last Live Show red

“71012 – Beatles – Last Live Show – May 1971 – 1 / 2 labels, colored vinyl, LLS – 101 A / LLS 101 B matrix – copy of an East Coast bootleg of the same title. Note: the 100 matrix titles seem to indicate that these issues are copies or pirates of other label’s earlier releases, not always using the same title “

[Keep in mind that the Dittolino title of the same name contains the 1964 Hollywood Bowl recording.]

beatles Last Live Show red B

Back to the WCF release:

Beatles Last Live Show 2

 

There is plenty wrong with the execution here: The recording contained here was of course not their last live show, the cover picture shows them at Shea Stadium but in the wrong year, 1966, and the labels have the sides reversed.

Apart from WCF & TMOQ pressing up run after run despite its mediocre quality, making them easy to find to this day, especially for the WCF pressing, the following versions copies:

 

  • Different label with added “(Aug. – 1966)” below title, likely not a WCF product due to the missing 10″ label groove (matrix number needed):

Beatles Last Live S red lbl

  • Covers with a number “10” stamped top left and a distinctive purple label, these also exist without the stamp (matrix number needed):

Beatles LLShow purp 1

Beatles LLShow 10

Beatles LLShow 10 lbl

  • WCF’s own folder cover reissue ca. 1974 (matrix number needed):

Beatles Last Live Show f

Beatles Last Live Show fold

Beatles Last Live Show f b

If this back cover image looks familiar to you, then you are a true Beatles bootleg vinyl expert; it was created by enlarging the center part of Contraband/Shalom’s first pressing for LIVE Paris Olympia (# 3688), originally released around July of 1973. Finally, WCF was able to pay them back for CBM’s repeated rip off’s of WCF’s releases.

Beatles Paris Olympia Jan 1964

  • and finally the JL Japan copy # 516 from around 1976:

Beatles LLShow JL 516

USA: 1971

Side 1 matrix:  ← RP 24-A →

It appears that for the Beatles side two different versions may exist: Copies with a “24 X X” matrix seem play the 1965 Ed Sullivan show as listed on the label while “RP-24-B” copies play songs from their 1965 Shea Stadium soundtrack instead: Twist And Shout / I Feel Fine / Dizzy Miss Lizzy / Ticket To Ride

It appears that a mistake was made and the RP-24-B version came first after the art work and label for the six Ed Sullivan tracks had already been printed, causing a discrepancy.

On the Rolling Stones side one, the track list contains many mistakes. Track 1 is “Looking Tired” from the 6 September 1965 RCA Studio Hollywood sessions an four tracks from their Chess Studio Chicago session, 11 June 1964: Tell Me Baby / Down In The Bottom / Stewed And Keefed / Hi-Heel Sneakers

The quality is excellent. Most collectors know this material from TMOQ’s Bright Lights Big City album, which was still years away at this time (released: July 1973).

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discogs shows this alternate, though rather untypical for a WCF release, cover, which does not look home-made to me. The matrices are ← RP 24-A → and RP 24 B for side 2.

B RS Battle alt

 

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This title was copied as part of Japan’s ‘JL’ series around 1976-7 as JL 512:

The font used for the numbers, side markers and running time give this away as a WCF copy.

The handwritten matrix

USA: 1971

The original version of GET BACK TO TORONTO were taken from an acetate compiled by Glyn Johns in late January 1969 (compilation 1) which was only meant to give everyone involved a chance to hear what some of the songs would sound on record; it was not meant to be mock up for a future release. This same source was used for the very first beatleg KUM BACK and Get Back (Lemon Records). These songs were broadcast on radio station WBCN in Boston on 22 September ’69.

“NOTE: it hasn’t been determined if all the early releases are sourced from the same original tape of the broadcast. Due to the amount of releases which featured this material in the early 1970s, it seems possible that other folks might have recorded the broadcast. It could even be possible that some of the early bootlegs might source from WBCN’s tape or the original tape of the acetate.” [source, see link below]

http://www.beatlesource.com/bs/mains/audio/GetBack/comp1/kumback.html

Track list, using info from the above link:

Side A:

“Peace message” – Likely recorded in Canada after December 15th, where John & Yoko unveiled their War Is Over If You Want It campaign plus plans for a big festival around the July 4th weekend in Mosport, Canada. John & Yoko proclaim 1970 as “year one” – quite a start for a Beatles bootleg.

Get Back
This is the only place to hear this performance and mix of this song and the snippets of “I’ve Got A Feeling” and “Help” which follow it.

Teddy Boy
This mix adds an additional 1:16 of performance between the breakdown at the beginning and the start of the song. which is not heard on compilations 2 and 3.

Two Of Us
This mix includes a snippet of another performance [24.48] (probably a remnant of an earlier, discarded mix) and a false start not heard on compilations 2, 3 or 4.

Dig A Pony
Strangely, although this is a different mix, it features the tape-start sound heard at the beginning which is heard on compilations 2 and 3 but not on compilation 4.

I’ve Got A Feeling
This mix includes an additional :10 extended ending after John’s comment “Not bad though” not heard on compilations 2, 3 or 4.

SIDE TWO

The Long And Winding Road (not included)

Let It Be
This begins with what is probably a remnant of an earlier, discarded mix. None of this performance or mix appear anywhere else.

Don’t Let Me Down
With the exception of John’s comment about “give me the courage to come screaming in” being a bit more clear, this mix features nothing not heard on compilations 2, 3 or 4.

For You Blue
This mix features a five second longer outro which includes guitar chop not heard on compilations 2, 3 or 4.

Get Back
This performance would form the basis of both the single and Let It Be album versions. The performance, itself, appears on all versions. The spoken intro is heard on compilation 2 and the Let It Be album. The post-song dialog is extended on compilation 2. The single version, which also appears on compilations 3 and 4, omits the spoken intro and adds a coda (taken from another performance) to the end, eliminating the post-song bits.

The Walk
This is the only place to hear this performance and mix of this song.

“Christmas Message” is a copy of the 1967 fan club flexi best known for the improvisation “Christmas Time Is here Again”. I guess this was included as out of all their Christmas recordings it comes closest to an actual (beginning of a) song or outtake.

 

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Tracing the different versions of the GET BACK TO TORONTO album is not easy, as there are so many. Starting with the stamped covers, we have the following:

  • A HA HA / B HO HO
  • IPF .1 A / IPF. 1 B
  • IPF-1-A S-2142 / IPF-1-B S-2143
  • LOEB side 1 / LOEB side 2

 

First released early 1970.

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Then there are the versions with the blue ‘peace sign’ cover:

Like the stamped cover version, they can be found with I.P.F. 1A / I.P.F. 1B and IPF-1-A ST S-2142 / IPF-1-B S-2143

I believe it’s this reissue of the original I.P.F. release that was copied by WCF (and Contraband – folded down to mono).

 

(I was not able to find a good quality image where CBM copied their round logo right onto the I.P.F. design.)

Matrix: 3519 A/B or WEC-3519 A/B

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If you have any further details, please leave a comment.

 

Beatles LIB - LIVE

Beatles LIB - LIVE b&w

 

 

Matrix: LB11-a / LB11-b

The insert is usually found in black & white, green or red. It also exists with blank white labels.

To be distinguished from the later Japan copy JL 1006(LB-1) with matrix ‘LB 11’:

 

USA: ca. 1970

WCF’s version was listed in HOTWACKS all these years but the rare original beatlegs this material was copied from passed under HW’s radar.

According to the beatlesource website, the second ever ‘beatleg’ (after Kum Back! ) was a now extremely rare album called O.P.D.. It presented the 2nd Glyn Johns compilation culled from the dozens of multi-track tapes recorded during the part of the Get Back sessions held at Savile Row and a first real attempt to shape the material into a commercial release.

This 2nd Glyn Johns compilation ended up being played on US radio station WKBW in Buffalo, NY from a reel to reel tape on September 20th, 1969 (the details as researched by John Winn, can be found in a series of articles starting with this installment). However, it appears that the two bootlegs now described in detail were not the result of someone taping the WKBW broadcast.

More details can be found here: http://www.beatlesource.com/bs/mains/audio/GetBack/gb2intro.html

 

O.P.D. 2

A: The 2nd Beatles bootleg containing the 2nd Get Back compilation; released January 1970 on the West Coast. Matrix: OW LIPSON A 12958 / OW LIPSON B

 

SIDE ONE

1. One After 909
2. Rocker-Save The Last Dance For Me-Don’t Let Me Down
3. Don’t Let Me Down
4. Dig A Pony
5. I’ve Got A Feeling
6. Get Back

SIDE TWO

1. For You Blue
2. Teddy Boy
3. Two Of Us-Maggie Mae
4. Dig It
5. Let It Be
6. Long and Winding Road
7. Get Back (Reprise)

This compilation contained two unique song differences that were preserved thanks to the bootlegs:

  • “Get Back” is the same take as the 45 version but without the coda and we can hear the song ending as it did in the studio plus we get to hear a few precious seconds of sounds and chat never included on any other source or version
  • “Dig It” is presented here in a unique edit lasting 4:57, a full minute more than on the more common third Glyn Johns compilation.

O.P.D.

O.P.D. b

 

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B: That same month on the East coast saw the release of the third beatleg: The “Silver Album”.

SAotWG 1

Matrix: JARRIS 0020 A/B

SAotWG matrix

C: Other/subsequent editions included first a full-size blank white label and then a printed label stating what appeared to be the album’s title.

SAotWG 1 pr lbl

The printed label version was likely already a copy produced by someone else. It replaced the official version of “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Two Of Us” with the versions from the first beatleg, Kum Back! – which was based on Glyn Johns 1st compilation, which used a unique version of the latter track not heard on compilations 2 to 4.

D: A final cover variation used blank white covers this time and the word “SILVER” stamped on:

SAotWG st

It appears that at this stage the insert appeared. The matrix for this version shown here was still JARRIS 0020 A/B

E: The insert combined with a silver or grey sleeve

Beatles LIB - LIVE grey 2

Beatles LIB - LIVE grey

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While LET IT BE LIVE used the same source tape as O.P.D., there were significant differences:

  • a number of tracks included on O.P.D. were left off
  • a higher tape generation had been used
  • “Get Back” on side 1 had been replaced by the official 45 version (US stereo single, collapsed to mono)
  • “Across The Universe” from an airing of the Nothing’s Gonna Change Our World WWF album version (just released in the UK on 12 December 1969) was tacked on at the end of side 2

 

SIDE ONE
1. Don’t Let Me Down (3:31) – single B-side
2. Dig A Pony (3:51)
3. Get Back (3:09) – single A-side
4. For You Blue (2:30)                                                                                                                                5. Two Of Us (3:18) 

SIDE TWO

1. Dig It (5:02)
2. Let It Be (3:59)
3. The Long and Winding Road (3:43)
4. One After 909 (2:43)
5. Across The Universe (3:17) – from WWF LP

 

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F: The WCF version with the printed labels shown at the start should be placed here. “Silver Greatest” then serves no other purpose than to point out that WCF had copied this album from someone else (since bootlegs were sold shrink-wrapped and the labels could not be used as a means of sales, pointing out to potential sellers that this was another version of the famous “Silver Album” they might have heard about). This also does not appear to be a reference that the band used be known as the Silver Beatles at one time.

 

G. Around 1974, WCF reissued this album with inserts printed in much brighter colors and in a (sometimes recycled) fold out sleeve using blank white labels:

Beatles LIB - LIVE RE gr

Beatles LIB - LIVE RE red

The matrix is now LB 11-A x  /  LB 11 B x    (these ‘added x’ matrices seem to have indicated a reprinted title)

I have found two auctions that state that the fold out sleeve was created by reversing a Berkeley 1974 Dylan printed cover of Dylan and the Band Return (# 2039/40). Here is a photo of what lurks behind the cover of the red insert copy shown above:

Beatles 64 65 Ed Sullivan S.JPG

Beatles 64 65 Ed Sullivan S b

USA: 2nd half of 1980

Going out with a bang: Melvin’s 5th release ED’s REALLY BIG BEATLE BLASTS was one of their – if not the – best, offering an upgraded to the artificially extended versions of the songs from the 1964 Ed Sullivan Show on RENAISSANCE MINSTRELS volume I.

According to the book WAY BEYOND COMPARE, this album contains their complete second appearance on the show on February 16th (although not in chronological order), leaving “Twist And Shout” and “Please Please Me”, which were not performed on the ’64 Ed Sullivan Shows unaccounted for. Leave a comment if you have a copy of this album and know where they were sourced from.

The last track on side 1 and the first on side 2 are from their third broadcast on the show, which was recorded first and then held until February 23rd, giving the USA three solid weeks of total Beatles immersion.

HOTWACKS’ quality rating of “Exm” was an upgrade from its first inclusion on this 1973 Contraband title:

Beatles POM large