The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl • Beatles UK album • Sleeve notes

The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl – Sleeve notes

‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ UK album – front cover
Front cover
‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ UK album – inside cover, folded-out
Inside cover, folded-out
‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ UK album – back cover
Back cover
  • Label: Parlophone EMTV 4
  • Released: 6th May 1977
  • Sales figures: ½ million
  • Peak position:
    Record Retailer – #1
  • Weeks at No.1: 1 – from 18th June 1977
  • Weeks in chart: 17 – from 21st May 1977
‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ UK album – outside cover, folded-out
Outside cover, folded-out
‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ UK album – Parlophone tape cassette label
Cassette label
  • Label: Parlophone TC EMTV 4
  • Released: 1977
‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ UK album – outside cover, folded-out
Outside cover, folded-out
‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ UK album – Music For Pleasure tape cassette label
Cassette label
  • Label: Music For Pleasure MFP 41 5676 4
  • Released: 1984

Over twelve years ago the Beatles appeared for the first time at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. It was not long after they had made their first impact on the United States, but already two years after I had signed them to a recording contract for EMI. Frankly, I was not in favor of taping their performance. I knew the quality of recording could not equal what we could do in the studio, but we thought we would try anyhow. Technically, the results were disappointing; the conditions for the engineers were arduous in the extreme. The chaos, I might almost say panic, that reigned at these concerts was unbelievable unless you were there. Only three track recording was possible; the Beatles had no “fold back” speakers, so they could not hear what they were singing, and the eternal shriek from 17,000 healthy, young lungs made even a jet plane inaudible.

A year later, in 1965, John, Paul, George and Ringo appeared again at The Hollywood Bowl and again Capitol taped the show for posterity, and there the tapes remained for over a decade. Neither the boys nor I considered they should be used because they consisted of titles that had already been issued as studio recordings, we often spoke of making a live recording, and in fact the ill-fated “Let It Be” album began as an attempt to make a live record of new material.

It was with some misgivings therefore that I agreed to listen to those early tapes at the request of Bhaskar Menon, Capitol’s president. The fact that they were the only live recordings of the Beatles in existence (if you discount inferior bootlegs) did not impress me. What did impress me, however, was the electric atmosphere and raw energy that came over.

And so, together with my recording engineer, Geoff Emerick, I set to work to bring the performance back to life. It was a labor of love, for we did not know if we could make them good enough for the world to hear – let alone John, Paul, George and Ringo.

We transferred the vintage three track tapes to modern multi-track, remixed, filtered, equalized and generally polished the tapes. Then, by careful editing from the two performances, we produced the performance that you hear now, obviously there has been no overdubbing. All the voices and instruments are the original performance (some of the vocal balances, with three singers on one track are evidence enough). But it is a piece of history that will not occur again.

Those of us who were lucky enough to be present at a live Beatle concert – be it in Liverpool, London, New York, Washigton, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Sydney or wherever – will know how amazing, how unique those performances were. It was not just the voice of the Beatles: it was expression of the young people of the world.

And for the others who wondered what on Earth all the fuss was about, this album may give a little clue. It may be a poor substitute for the reality of those times, but it is now all there is.

In the multiplatinum, sophisticated world we live in today, it is difficult to appreciate the excitement of the Beatles breakthrough. My youngest daughter, Lucy, now nine years old, once asked me about them, “You used to record them, didn’t you, Daddy?” she asked, “Were they as great as the Bay City Rollers?” “Probably not,” I replied. Some day she will find out.

Those who clamour for a Beatle reunion cannot see that it can never be the same again. The boys in their own way gave a great deal of their lives to us by being Beatles. And now they have found their own individual selves. Good luck to them. I am very proud to have been part of their story.

Thank you John, Paul, George and Ringo.

George Martin

UK albums 1963Please Please Me With The BeatlesUK albums 1964A Hard Days Night Beatles For SaleUK albums 1965Help! Rubber SoulUK albums 1966Revolver A Collection Of Beatles OldiesUK albums 1967Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band The Beatles FirstUK albums 1968The Beatles (aka The White Album)UK albums 1969Yellow Submarine Abbey RoadUK albums 1970Let It BeUK albums 1973The Beatles / 1962-1966 (aka The Red Album) The Beatles / 1967-1970 (aka The Blue Album)UK albums 1976Rock N Roll Music Magical Mystery TourUK albums 1977The Beatles At The Hollywood BowlLove SongsUK albums 1978The Beatles CollectionUK albums 1979Hey JudeUK albums 1980Rock N Roll Music Volume 1 Rock N Roll Music Volume 2 The Beatles BalladsUK albums 1981Live! At The Star-Club In Hamburg, Germany 1962UK albums 1982Reel Music The Complete Silver Beatles 20 Greatest HitsUK albums 1988Past Masters Volume 1 Past Masters Volume 2UK albums 1994Live At The BBCUK albums 1995Anthology 1UK albums 1996Anthology 2 Anthology 3UK albums 1999Yellow Submarine SongtrackUK albums 20001UK albums 2003Let It Be… NakedUK albums 2004The Capitol Albums Volume 1 The Beatles First, featuring Tony SheridanUK albums 2006The Capitol Albums Volume 2 LoveUK albums 2009The Beatles In Mono The Beatles Stereo Box-SetUK albums 2014The US Albums is not affiliated with or approved by The Beatles, Apple, MPL, EMI or Capitol Records.
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