Listening To The Beatles, Fresh After 50 Years

If you are a serious fan of The Beatles — and what lover of rock ‘n roll isn’t? — imagine hearing that there are recorded Beatles songs that you’ve never heard.

You bought every album and played them until the grooves were worn thin, and then you went and bought every CD.  You’ve been a sucker for each new “Beatles’ rarities” collection, laid out good money for Let It Be Naked, and listened to bootlegs and live recordings with crappy sound quality.  You’ve eagerly read Shout! and every other book and biography and thumbed through The Beatles Day by Day.  You thought you’ve heard everything the Fab Four ever recorded on every bit of tape and wax — but now it turns our you’re wrong.

The long lost Decca master audition tape has been located and is now for sale.  It’s a kind of the Holy Grail for Beatles fans.  It was recorded in January 1962 at the Decca studios in London.  It features Pete Best on drums and — even better — is said to feature stunning, top-notch studio quality sound.

The tape includes the Beatles covering seven songs — including Money (That’s What I Want), a song that the Beatles later memorably released, with stunning John Lennon vocals, on With the Beatles — and three Beatles original compositions. (It’s not clear whether the original songs are all Lennon-McCartney compositions, but I imagine Sir Paul McCartney could clear that up.)  The Decca executives famously decided not to sign the group to a contract, thinking they had no future.  (Remember that the next time some know-it-all confidently predicts your future.)

It’s not clear what will happen with the tape after it is auctioned, and whether the recordings will become available to the public.  I hope so, because I sure would like to hear them.  Imagine — listening to the world’s greatest group, at the dawn of their careers, playing and singing songs that haven’t been heard for 50 years!

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