The Beatles First • Beatles UK album • Sleeve notes

The Beatles’ First – Sleeve notes

‘The Beatles’ First’ UK album – front cover
Front cover
‘The Beatles’ First’ UK album – back cover
Back cover
‘The Beatles’ First’ UK album – Polydor record label
Record label
  • Label: Polydor 236201 STEREO
  • Released: 4th August 1967
  • Peak position:
    Record Retailer – Didn’t enter
‘The Beatles’ First, featuring Tony Sheridan’ UK album – CD front cover
Front cover
‘The Beatles’ First, featuring Tony Sheridan’ UK album – CD back cover
Back cover
‘The Beatles’ First, featuring Tony Sheridan’ UK album – Polydor CD label
CD label
  • Label: Polydor
  • Released: 9th December 2004

I first met The Beatles in Hamburg in 1960 when I was playing in a new club just around the corner from the Reeperbahn.

They were working at a place just down the road, as I later found out, and every night when they were through they used to come up and watch us. I remember noticing them the first time they came. They wore cowboy boots, leather jackets and – at the time – contemporary haircuts. Well, we gradually got to know each other, and I got to enjoy their visits. I remember being very inpressed by their musical eagerness, and personalitywise also they made a great impression on me.

After a while they went back to Liverpool to play at the Cavern, I think, but then returned to Hamburg some time later in 1961 when I was playing at the Top Ten club on the Reeperbahn. I was without a band at that time, and so we got together. They backed me in my solo numbers, and I played guitar with them when they did their spots. We all shared a room together, too, over the Top Ten. It was really an attic with bunk beds in tho tiers! Those were the great days. We didn’t have a lot of free time really, because when you work at night you’ve got to sleep during the daytime, and very often there is only time to eat a snack between getting out of bed and going onto the stage. The Beatles had quite a few rhythm n’ blues discs, mostly Chuck Berry and comparatively unknown singers. They had a great talent for finding unusual records.

Sometimes we went down to the British Seaman’s Mission near the Harbour. We could get (almost!) English Food there. And talking about food, another place we went to a lot was a typical German “Imbiss” on the Grosse Freiheit called Harold’s. The Beatles always ate cornflakes with milk (at one time that seemed to be their staple diet) – and we all had tea!

One night, Bert Kaempfert came into the Top Ten, introduced himself as an A&R man and record producer and asked us if we would like to record for Polydor. We said O.K., and the result of the first recording session was MY BONNIE, THE SAINTS, CRY FOR A SHADOW, and WHY. Bert Kaempfert and all the other guys at the diskery were very excited about the waxings, but we didn’t think very much of them, and although MY BONNIE as a single release sold quite well in Germany, nothing fantastic happened at the time.

Looking back now, I can only agree with Bert Kaempfert when he said the following words upon being asked by a newspaper reporter why he let The Beatles out of their Polydor contract: “It was obvious to me that they were enormously talented, but nobody—including the boys themselves—knew how to use that talent or where it would lead them.”

Just for the record, I’d like to mention here tat there were five Beatles in those days: John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Pete Best (who was replaced later by Ringo Starr) and Stuart Sutcliffe, who died so tragically in Hamburg. John, Paul, George, and Pete are the original Beatles heard on this disc.

Their engagement at the Top Ten finished and they went back home to Liverpool once more. I formed a band to play in the Top Ten for a period, the drummer of which I had secured on a visit to Liverpool-a boy by the name of Ringo Starr. This engagement finished, and Ringo Went home, but he reappeared at the opening night of the Star-Club in Hamburg, playing with The Beatles. I was also on the bill of that first show… and you can imagine the reunion!

The Star-Club audience loved The Bealtes because they were different in every way from all the other groups who worked there. They were great individualists, enormously high spirited and enjoyed playing pranks. They gave everybody their money’s worth-and a few headashes into the baegain! On stage, they sometimes wore their leather suits(these we all had made together in the Top Ten days), and sometimees their usual collarless jackets. Their hair styles weren’t quite what they are today-but well on the way. Another thing that struck me was their sunny outlook on life. It wasn’t often that they were to be seen in low spirits. They were very self-assures; in fact they gave me the impression of unconsciously knowing that they would get somewhere one day; their confidence was very infectious.

Their last appearance in Hamburg included Christmas 1962/3 at the Star-Club, after which they returned to England and had their unprecedented rise to fame. The rest is history.

Tony Sheridan


 
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 BandThe 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 Bowl Love 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 1The 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
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