LIVE AT ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS
Company: no manufacturer indicated
Matrix Numbers: ARS2 9083-A / ARS2-9083-B // ARS2-9083-C / ARS2-9083-D
Release Date: November 1983
1. BRASS INTRO
2. POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCES (incomplete)
3. WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS (incomplete)
4. THE BEATLES CHRISTMAS RECORD (incomplete)
5. LOVE ME DO
6. NORMAN SMITH INTERVIEW
7. HOW DO YOU DO IT (incomplete) (narrator over last 7 secs.)
8. NORMAN SMITH INTERVIEW
9. I SAW HER STANDING THERE
10. I SAW HER STANDING THERE (false start)
11. I SAW HER STANDING THERE
12. NORMAN SMITH INTERVIEW
13. TWIST AND SHOUT
14. ONE AFTER 909 (incomplete)
15. DON’T BOTHER ME (false start)
16. DON’T BOTHER ME (incomplete)
17. NORMAN SMITH INTERVIEW
18. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (false start)
19. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (false start)
20. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
21. LEAVE MY KITTEN ALONE (incomplete)
22. I’M A LOSER
23. SHE’S A WOMAN (incomplete)
24. TICKET TO RIDE (incomplete)
26. NORWEGIAN WOOD (incomplete)
27. I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU (incomplete)
28. PAPERBACK WRITER
30. PENNY LANE
31. STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER (incomplete)
32. STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER (incomplete)
33. STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
34. A DAY IN THE LIFE
35. HELLO GOODBYE
36. LADY MADONNA
37. HEY JUDE (incomplete)
38. HEY JUDE (incomplete)
39. WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS
41. RINGO SPEAKS
42. No. 9 DREAM (incomplete)
sound quality: VG-stereo (plays slightly too fast)
#2: composed by Edward Elgar; unknown orchestra (mono)
#3: Helen Shapiro, officially released version (mono)
#4: 1963 Xmas flexi (mono)
#5, 11, 13, 20, 22, 24, 28 to 30, 35, 42: officially released versions
#7: EMI Studios, Feb. 11, 1963, takes 6 & 11
#9, 10: EMI Studios, Feb. 11, 1963, takes 6, 11
#14: EMI Studios, Mar. 5, 1963, take 4
#15, 16: EMI Studios, Sept. 12, 1963 , takes 11, 13
#18, 19: EMI Studios, Apr. 16, 1964, takes 2, 3
#21: EMI Studios, Aug. 14, 1964, take 5
#23: EMI Studios, Oct. 8, 1964, take 1
#25: Apr. 13, 1965, take 8 (instrumental backing track)
#26: EMI Studios, Oct. 12, 1965, take 1
#27: EMI Studios, Oct. 24, 1965, take 1
#31: EMI Studios, Nov. 24, 1966, take 1
#32: EMI Studios, Nov. 29, 1966, take 7
#33: EMI Studios, Dec. 21, 1966, take 26
#34: EMI Studios, Feb. 22, 1967, complete master
#36: EMI Studios, Feb. 3, 1968, takes 3,4
#37, 38: EMI Studios, July 30, 1968, takes 9, ? (instrumental)
#39: EMI Studios, July 25, 1968, take 1
#40: EMI Studios, Aug. 5, 1969, take 16 (vocal and synth tracks only)
This important LP gave listeners the complete soundtrack to the EMI’s Abbey Road studios show “The Beatles at Abbey Road’’, during which some unreleased master tapes were played for the first time (though mostly not in their entirety and usually talked-over). Unfortunately, it was an audience tape and was mastered too fast. An excellent quality version was released in 1990 on the CD ABBEY ROAD SHOW 1983, although the CD omits the narration and non-Beatles performances.
This album was recorded by the Tobe Milo guys but pressed by the New York bootlegger responsible for the NEMS knock-offs, a large number of counterfeits of other bootlegs, various picture discs and the Verzyl limited edition records on multicolor vinyl.
The Tobe Milo guys published some comments on the web page rarebeatles.com, which we reproduce here with permission: "In 1983, for the first and only time, the doors to Abbey Road's famous studio were opened to the public, for a tour and audio-video presentation. Fans were treated to a tour of the famous Number 2 Studio, which had remained virtually unchanged from the days of the sixties where the Beatles recorded from 1962-1969.
Starting July 11th, the doors were opened seven days a week through September 11th, with three shows per day at 10:30 am, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets were sold for £4.50 (about $7.00 U.S.). In all, the presentation and tour was given 168 times. (...) This was the first time that EMI had ever permitted the public performance of Beatles outtakes. Free refreshments were served, and in one corner was a booth offering T-shirts, posters, stickers, road signs, postcards and other Beatles souvenirs. Fans being determined, and with word out from previous visitors about how great the outtakes were, three U.S. collectors managed to sneak in a compact Sony cassette player and record the entire show from start to finish, in stereo. (...) They had each taken with them a shopping bag filled with "tourist" items, as if they had been shopping all day. Hidden inside one bag was the Sony tape recorder. In another, the microphone and batteries, and in the third, blank tapes. Amazingly, when they got to the search point, the guard looked in the bags quickly, passed them AROUND the metal detector, and directed them through the detectors - sans bags(!) and then handed the bags BACK to them on the other side of the detector!!! They could not believe that they got into the Abbey Road presentation with a tape recorder! At this time, of course, they were ecstatic, as they KNEW they would soon have a recording of the entire show. (...) Upon being seated for the show, they all sat together and carefully pulled the parts from their bags to prepare recording. One of them sat perfectly still holding the microphone for the entire ninety minute presentation. If you listen closely to the tape at the beginning and end, you can hear the rustling of paper - people next to them were eating and putting their souvenirs into bags. The tape was reviewed in the cab on the way back to the hotel and all three fans were blown away, the recording had turned out incredible. Upon their return to the U.S., a cover was designed and in November of 1983 the recording was issued as a double album gatefold set, The Beatles Live at Abbey Road Studios (ARS 2 9083)."
November 1983 (photo below the title). The first release came as a double album gatefold set; the first copies had the sticker sold at the show on the cover, as one of the producers told us: "As far as the stickers go, we bought a few sheets of them when we were at the presentation, and then put them on some of the first batch of LP’s that we got. There were not a lot of issues with the stickers, maybe 10-15 if I recall." In this first release the disc had a label reproducing a reel-to-reel tape. This first pressing was quickly sold out, but the New York bootlegger had the metal parts and kept on releasing various copies for a few years.
Early 1984. At first, the pressing company ran out of the gatefold sleeve, and a version was distributed in a red jacket with an insert and the title typed in red. The discs had the original reel-to-reel labels.
1984-1986. The subsequent releases again had the gatefold covers with the original artwork, printed in good quality. The labels reproduced the logo of "The Joker", trademark of DC Comics Inc., and one of their characters, dating back to 1981. This image was also used by a comic shop in London. The first disc had the label printed in grey, the second disc had it printed in orange.
The following releases had the gatefold jacket with somewhat blurry printing and less contrast. The pressing quality of these records is slightly worse, the vinyl is thicker and the discs have some tiny pits here and there. A part of the records used labels for legit records, these were from a 12" disco mix of Hip Hop music by Mike and Dave Records, used on disc 1, and disco music by Twin Records used on disc 2.
In another version, King Toot Records labels, red on disc 1 and pink on disc 2, were used. This label was used for a few other bootlegs by this bootlegger in 1984.
The last versions had two types of "Verzyl" labels. One of these was used for other "Verzyl releases (on the left in the illustration below, white on disc 1 and red on disc 2), the other one (on the right) was specifically used for LIVE AT ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS. These last labels had a monster on yellow paper on disc 1 and a duck in "Humphrey Bogart" style on disc 2, again derived from comics. In all cases, the vinyl was black (all the other "Verzyl" records had a limited pressing on multicolor vinyl). Most likely, the New York bootlegger still had a large number of orders and could not release a version in a limited pressing. The records were distributed in the folder-type sleeve with the original artwork, printed slightly blurry, but, when the bootlegger ran out of these jackets, he used a simple sleeve with a xerox of reduced size printed in light blue paper on the front and white paper on the back, with the track listing taken from the third page of the original gatefold jacket; these copies had the second type of labels. Some copies included a one-sided single with While My Guitar Gently Weeps, in a sleeve reproducing the 2-LP set cover, which was usually included in the FILE UNDER version of this bootlegger (see the analysis of FILE UNDER).
INTEREST. This was one of the most interesting records when it appeared, and was much sought-after. The first release is rather scarce (***); of course, one of the very few early copies with the sticker would be an absolute must for any collector (*****); the subsequent repressings maintain their interest, even though the printing quality and the vinyl pressing of the last versions are inferior (**).
THE JAPANESE COUNTERFEIT
This 2-LP set was immediately counterfeited in Japan, with a gatefold cover and reel-to-reel labels identical to the original pressing. The sound quality is comparable to the original. The machine-impressed matrix of this version is 723-A 1-A-3 / 723-B 1-A-2 // 724-C 1-A-3 / 724-D 1-A-3. A limited pressing from this matrix was realized on green vinyl.
INTEREST. The version on green vinyl is attractive, and is the only variant on colored wax (***), the version on black vinyl is a useless counterfeit, interesting only for the japanese market (**).