Early Beatles live recordings targeted for release

By | January 16, 2008 at 6:06 PM

An independent Miami label says it plans to release never-before-heard Beatles live recordings made in 1962 at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Fuego Entertainment has partnered with British producer/promoter Jeffrey Collins to put out his catalog holdings. They say those include a live Beatles performance of 15 songs at the club.

No release date has been set for the recordings, which the label claims are the first to feature drummer Ringo Starr as part of the group. Other Beatles recordings from the Star Club have been released, but Fuego says its collection includes previously unheard tracks, such as covers of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” and Maurice Williams’ “Do You Believe.”

Other live Beatles tracks the label says it holds include “Twist and Shout,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Hippy Hippy Shake,” “A Taste of Honey,” “Money,” and “Ask Me Why,” which can be heard in other recorded Beatles performances at the Star Club.

Collins, who now lives in Florida, says he got the original tapes at the time from a DJ he had booked for the club the night of the Beatles’ performance.

When he got the tapes, which the label says were recorded with the club’s permission, “they were in terrible condition,” says Collins. Decades later, he was able to digitally remaster them “to make them sound coherent,” but says the Beatles’ Apple Corps. rebuffed his 1996 overture to release the tracks.

The lack of a release date illustrates the obstacles involved in releasing Beatles-related product. “Through legal channels, we will be making these albums available for release,” says Collins. “The Beatles know these tapes exist and their lawyers know these tapes exist. It’s a matter of certain legalities.”

“We don’t have a comment as such but not surprisingly are looking into the claim,” says an Apple spokesperson.

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