Company: EMI Parlophone 0C 064 2402701 (fake EMI)
Matrix Number: ST 221-A / ST 221-B
Release Date: October 1985
1. COME AND GET IT 2:26
2. LEAVE MY KITTEN ALONE 2:53
3. NOT GUILTY 3:19
4, I'M LOOKING THROUGH YOU 2:52
5. WHAT'S THE NEW MARY JANE 6:01
6. HOW DO YOU DO IT 1:55
7. BESAME MUCHO 2:33
8. ONE AFTER 909 2:53
9. IF YOU'VE GOT TROUBLE 2:21
10. THAT MEANS A LOT 2:25
11. WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS 3:23
12. MAILMAN, BRING ME NO MORE BLUES 1:51
13. riffs & dialogue CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE AGAIN (incomplete) 0:58
Sound Quality: EX-stereo
1: EMI Studios, July 24, 1969, take 1 (Paul demo)
2: EMI Studios, August 14, 1964, take 5
3: EMI Studios, August 12, 1968, take 102
4. EMI Studios, October 24, 1965, take 1
5: EMI Studios, August 14, 1968, take 4
6: EMI Studios, September 4, 1962 (mono)
7: EMI Studios, June 6, 1962
8: EMI Studios, March 5, 1963; edit of takes 4 and 5
9: EMI Studios, February 18, 1965, take 1
10: EMI Studios, February 20, 1965, take 2
11: EMI Studios, July 25, 1968, take 1
12. Apple Studios, January 29, 1969
13. EMI Studios, November 28, 1967
This is a superb production, that back in 1985 marked the beginning of a new era in the Beatles bootleg history. From the producer: "SESSIONS was a compilation album of previously unreleased tracks, planned for release by EMI in 1984 but never issued officially, due to objections by the surviving Beatles. Therefore all masters sent out over the world, to Japan, USA, Australia etc. had to be returned to EMI London or destroyed. Luckily, one clever employee in one of the EMI subsidiaries made a copy for himself, that eventually reached our hands. That’s why the first bootleg release sounded so good. The cover was a make-believe as being the original cover including a barcode. Brian Southall at EMI House once said: 'It really looked very close to the original idea'. The cover was done by the same guy as Beatles at the Beeb and Beatles in Paris. The Sessions cover seems to be the inspiration for the Anthology artwork a few years later. ".
Some comments regarding the track selection and unnecessary remixes done by Geoff Emerick at EMI:
First of all, the track selection is too short (35 minutes in all), and makes little sense with the casual song order and the inclusion of the McCartney's solo demo. More annoying, however, are the unpleasant remixes done to the original masters: the entire first verse of If you've got trouble is missing, and so are several lines of Not guilty, while Mailman bring me no more blues is completely reversed: it lacks the end, starts from the second verse and has the first verse edited at the end, repeated twice and fading out.
ORIGINAL VERSION - RELEASES
There is only a unique version from the original producers. It has a deluxe laminated cover, the back cover has track listing with notes and a bar code and a red printed mark, simulating a rubber-printed indication, saying "FACTORY SAMPLE NOT FOR SALE". The disc had blank black labels, pressing mark is a ring at 12 mm from the spindle hole. At least 5,000 copies were pressed for the first run, and a second run was made when these were sold out.
INTEREST. Obviously, this record was essential when it first appeared. As a collectible item, the original version is obviously indispensable for any collection. Due to the relatively high number of copies, it is still not uncommon in the market. ***. Beware of counterfeits (see below).
Needless to say, this important bootleg was almost immediately counterfeited by other bootleggers. Most of the counterfeits have a noticeably decreased sound quality, and should be avoided. Here those that we have seen, but we cannot exclude that also more exist.
1. Matrix Number 064 A / 064 B. This counterfeit has the back cover with the "FACTORY SAMPLE" indication printed grey. The disc label is blank white, pressing ring at 12 mm from the spindle hole. The sound has an excess of high frequencies and scarce dynamics. This was probably the first counterfeit to appear, in 1986, and was probably pressed in Europe.
2. Unknown matrix. We have not been able to examine any copy of this version, that has the cover printed with pale and less contrasting colors, and the "FACTORY SAMPLE" indication with a red sticker. The disc has probably a plain white label.
3. Matrix Number: ST 12373-A- / ST 12373-B-. This is a counterfeit released in 2007 and produced in the USA. The back cover does not have the bar code and the EMI indications, and the quality of the photos is very poor, with a strong dithering. The record was probably copied from counterfeit #1, since it has an almost identical sound. The disc labels are black and cream with title and track listing. See also below, copy #3 for more information.
4. JAPANESE counterfeit. Matrix Number: ST-221 A XX F 1 - A - 5 / ST-221 B 1 - A - 6 (printed). This Japanese counterfeit was produced in the early eighties. The vinyl is white, the label is blank black with ST221-A/ST221-B written near the margin. The sound quality is excellent, comparable to the original.
INTEREST. The japanese edition has a good quality, it is accurately produced and not very common (***). The other counterfeits are completely useless. *
Some copies of SESSIONS were produced in the USA, with a different artwork for the cover.
1. The fake "ODEON" release. This version was released in 1987. The track listing was rearranged essentially in chronological order. The deluxe laminated jacket has front cover in full color, even though the artwork is not particularly exciting, whereas the back cover has a b/w photo that resembles the REVOLVER album. The disc labels are counterfeited Odeon labels. The sound quality is almost comparable to the original pressing. Matrix Number: #2402701-1 / #2402701-2.
2. The "IME" version. Matrix Number: L 31032 IME-007-A re / L 31032 X IME 007-B. In 1988 the bootleg reappeared with a cover that was one of those originally considered by EMI for the official release. The folder-type jacket has on the front cover a photo from July 1, 1963, shot in front of the Abbey Road studios, with the Apple logo covered with a black square, whereas the back cover has photos of the Beatles boots and track listing. The inner part of the folder-type jacket has liner notes and track listing and more photos. The disc sleeve has more photos of the Beatles, and the custom labels have track listing and IME ONE / IME TWO indications. Sound quality is comparable to the original pressing, slightly drier, and with reversed stereo channels.
3. The 2007 version. In 2007 another version appeared, as a single LP or a 2-LP set, from matrix ST 12373-A- / ST 12373-B- (single LP) ST-12373-C- / ST-12373-D- (second LP). The copies with a single LP were distributed as counterfeits of the original version of SESSIONS (see above, counterfeit #3). The 2-LP set used a similar jacket as copy #2, with the Apple logo not hidden and with different photos in the inner part of the folder-type jacket. The second LP includes other outakes copied from previous CD releases. We do not examine here recent bootlegs copied from CD, anyway, this is the content of the second LP: SIDE 3: 1. REVOLUTION 1 (edit of take 18), 2. AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING (vocal overdub on take 2), 3. SHE'S A WOMAN (take 7), 4. YES IT IS (different stereo mix), 5. FOR YOU BLUE (alternate version), 6. FREE AS A BIRD (John Lennon demo). SIDE 4: 1. COME AND GET IT (take 5). 2. I'M A LOSER (take 2). 3. DON'T BOTHER ME (take 10, remake). 4. DIZZY MISS LIZZY (backing track). 5. REVOLUTION (take 15). 6. HELLO GOODBYE (take 1). 7. REAL LOVE (John Lennon demo). As said, the sound quality of the first record is noticeably lower than the original.
Two versions of the 2-LP set were distributed, one in black vinyl, one with the first record in white vinyl and the second record in cream-colored transparent vinyl. The custom labels were black (side 1 and 3) and cream (side 2 and 4) with title and track listing.
4. 2020. The last copy that we have seen was recently released, with a deluxe cover, limited numbered copies in colored vinyl or picture disc. The tracks of this version, however, were the unmixed original songs, not the Emerick's remixes; it has an additional track, a different mix of Ob-la-di Ob-la-da from a CD release.
INTEREST. Some of these copies are slightly more interesting that the counterfeits of the original version, at least for the very nice layout of #2 and #3, or the attempt at a chronological rearrangement of the tracks of copy #1. (**). The last copy does not add anything to the history of this bootleg (*).