IN THE BEGINNING features The Beatles first recordings for Polydor Records Germany as backup band for English singer Tony Sheridan. The album also features 4 tracks by Sheridan backed up by The Beat Brothers.
The Beatles: John Lennon, George Harrison (vocals, guitar); Paul McCartney (vocals, bass); Pete Best (drums).
Additional personnel: Tony Sheridan (vocals); The Beat Brothers.
Producer: Bert Kaempfert.
Compilation producer: Bill Levenson.
Recorded in Hamburg, Germany in June 1961 & May 1962.
Includes liner notes by Tony Sheridan, George Harrison, and Bill Harry.
All tracks are digitally remastered.
Recording information: Friedrich Ebert Hall, Hamburg, Germany (06/22/1961-01/31/1963); Studio Rahlstedt, Hamburg, Germany (06/22/1961-01/31/1963).
Much is made of the Beatles' formative years in Hamburg during the early '60s, and rightly so--tapes of their sessions during the time are rare, and find the band at their most primitive. However, this is anything but a fault--one of the most storied aspects of the Beatles was their explosive energy, the boundless enthusiasm fostered by their first glimpse of popularity. THE EARLY TAPES finds the young Beatles reining in that energy for their first professional recording gigs, overseen by legendary bandleader Bery Kaempfert.
The Beatles were originally called upon as a backup band for crooner Tony Sheridan for these sessions; Kaempfert was taken by Sheridan's cool, rockabilly-inflected voice, and the Beatles took the studio opportunity to record a few tunes themselves. Among these is a self-penned instrumental, "Cry For A Shadow," and the album's opener, "Ain't She Sweet," which features the vocal work of one John Lennon. Elsewhere, the album documents other first steps for the group, including the first single, "My Bonnie," which Kaempfert credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers, a name which would continue with Sheridan long after the Fab Four went on to change the world.