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Beatles Recovered: 1962-66

March 29th, 2023 Leave a comment Go to comments


For many people who missed the Beatles years, the red and blue compilation gatefold-covered double-albums, 1962-66 and 1967-70, served as an introduction to the band’s music. In the 1970s, every family seemed to have a set, especially those who had no the Beatles LP.

In my family’s case, it was my older sister who had both sets. I had known Beatles songs like Obladi-Oblada and She Loves You, but it was Side 2 of the red album hooked me, and I’ve remained hooked on The Beatles ever since.

April 2 will mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the two sets, one of the last acts as Beatles manager by the reviled Allen Klein. It was a reaction to a bootleg compilation titled Alpha Omega, which was even advertised on TV. Still, the albums were a great idea.

They are sort of greatest hits collections, but not quite. The hits are there, but so are album tracks, such as (on the Red Album) All My Loving, Eight Days A Week, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, In My Life or Girl. Any of them could have been a #1 hit. Oddly, no George Harrison features on the Red Album, but the Blue Album features his quite redundant Old Brown Shoe.

The present mix features one cover that was produced by John Lennon himself, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away by folkies The Silkie, a recording that also featured Paul McCartney and Harrison. That quartet was billed as the English Peter, Paul and Mary, and they kicked off their brief recording career with an album of Dylan covers. So it made sense that they’d cover Lennon’s (superb) attempt at emulating Dylan — and fill the rest of their second and final LP with more Dylan covers.

In 1983 Tina Turner released a slowed-down version of Help. A year before that, South African band PJ Powers & Hotline did the same, and it’s their version which features here. I think the song’s lyrics are served well by being slowed down. Tina will feature on the Blue Album.

The greatest difficulty in projects like these is to find versions of Yesterday that aren’t cheesy and of Yellow Submarine that are worth giving a listen. On the Any Major Beatles Covers 1962-66 mix I made in 2010 (it’s up again, as are 1967-68 and 1968-70), Smokey Robinson & The Miracles did Yesterday duty, and on Help! Recovered, it was The Dillards. Here we have Gladys Knight & The Pips, with Gladys totally owning the song.

Yellow Submarine is a tougher proposition. On Revolver Recovered, The Pickin’ On Picks did a bluegrass version, on Yellow Submarine Recovered, The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band got funky with it (and it was reprised by Sesame Street). I might have recycled Maurice Chevalier’s remarkable version from The Beatles in French Vol. 2, but in the interest of trying to include only tracks not previously used,  I hunted down a fantastic version by Finnish group Leningrad Cowboys performing the song live with the Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble. Four great versions of a pretty awful song. But I’m glad I’ll never have to recover it again

There are many other great covers here. Chaka Khan works over We Can Work It Out — the most soul of all Beatles songs? — and Otis Redding’s live version of Day Tripper eclipses the original (you can almost feel his sweat hitting you). But you’d expect Chaka and Otis to deliver brilliant covers, for Beatles songs tend to be adaptable to soul. The two Covered With Soul mixes of Beatles tracks showed that (Covered With Soul Vol. 14 and Vol. 15).

I’m not sure how much Beatles songs lend themselves to country music. But in Herb Pederson’s hands, Paperback Writer does become a fine country tune. And in his version, you can actually understand the cruelly funny words.

Junior Campbell had a big hit with a Beatles song as a member of Marmalade, Obladi-Oblada. On his 1974 solo album Second Time Around, he covered another Beatles track I don’t particularly love, Drive My Car. His keyboard solo on it is quite excellent. We previously encountered Junior Campbell on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9, and will meet him again on Vol. 2 of Any Major Hits from 1973.

As a bonus track, you will find Mrs Miller’s version of A Hard Day’s Night. If you know it, you’ll know what to expect. If you don’t, you’re in for a treat unlike any you have known.

On a note of housekeeping: Zippyshare will close down as of April 1. There are 369 Any Major mixes still sitting there, most of which I won’t re-up. So grab what you can while you can. I have already reupped all Beatles Recovered, and other Beatles cover mixes as well as the Beatles Reunited series on a new server.

As for this mix, they are two CD-R mixes with home-fabbed covers, and the above in PDF format. PW in comments. The Blue Album Recovered will follow after next week’s In Memoriam.

Disc 1
1. The Persuasions – Love Me Do (2002)
2. Keely Smith – Please Please Me (1965)
3. Del Shannon – From Me To You (1963)
4. Count Basie & His Orchestra – She Loves You (1966)
5. Sparks – I Want To Hold Your Hand (1976)
6. Nick Heyward – All My Loving (1996)
7. Blackstreet – (Money Can’t) Buy Me Love (1996)
8. Bar-Kays – A Hard Day’s Night (1969)
9. Reggie Milner – And I Love Her (1969)
10. The Runaways – Eight Days A Week (1978)
11. Sweethearts Of The Rodeo – I Feel Fine (1988)
12. The 5th Dimension – Ticket To Ride (1967)
13. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Yesterday (1968)

Disc 2
1. P.J. Powers & Hotline – Help (1982)
2. The Silkie – You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (1965)
3. Chaka Khan – We Can Work It Out (1981)
4. Otis Redding – Day Tripper (Live) (1967)
5. Junior Campbell – Drive My Car (1974)
6. P.M. Dawn – Norwegian Wood (1993)
7. Carpenters – Nowhere Man (1967)
8. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals – Michelle (2005)
9. Richie Havens – In My Life (1987)
10. Joe Jackson Trio – Girl (Live) (2010)
11. Herb Pedersen – Paperback Writer (1976)
12. Aretha Franklin – Eleanor Rigby (1969)
13. Leningrad Cowboys & The Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble – Yellow Submarine (1994)


Beatles Recovered: Please, Please Me
Beatles Recovered: With The Beatles
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Beatles Recovered: Abbey Road
Beatles Recovered: Let It Be


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  1. amdwhah
    March 29th, 2023 at 09:46 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. rat-a-tat
    March 29th, 2023 at 14:38 | #2

    Exceptional work, as always. I see you raised the bar for yourself in not allowing repeats.
    Mega has been a grand improvement over zippy, from which I was routinely security blocked.
    I have gone nuts with the Beatles mixes, thx much. Can only hope that the incomparable Covered with Soul mixes will be next.

  3. March 29th, 2023 at 18:34 | #3

    as always thanks.
    and i have downloaded too many of your comps . and I hopwe to get the rest but, if it is not possible… well, ok i will live =)

  4. Stephen M Mitchell
    March 30th, 2023 at 20:29 | #4

    Microsoft defender detected a virus in the download from both sites and would not download the files.

  5. Jonathan King
    March 31st, 2023 at 02:11 | #5

    “Eight Days a Week” was in fact a #1 single in the U.S. … and the third single I ever bought.

  6. amdwhah
    March 31st, 2023 at 08:05 | #6

    I checked it with Avast, and it found no problem.

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