Friday, January 22, 2010

Forgotten Music: The "Silver" Beatles




You've heard the story, but have you heard the music? On January 1, 1962, John, Paul, George and Pete Best recorded 15 songs in an audition for Decca Records. Decca passed on them, signing a band called "Brian Poole and the Tremeloes" instead.

The "Silver Beatles" name is complicated. Quick Version: For a period of a few months in 1960 (when the drummer was an older guy named Tommy Moore), one of the names they used was The Silver Beetles (or Beatles). Right around the time Pete Best joined up (in August of that year), they dropped the "Silver" and became simply The Beatles. So the group recording at Decca was actually called The Beatles. But, in the years since, these early recordings have sometimes been attributed to The Silver Beatles as a way of differentiating them from the band we know.

Six of the tracks from that Decca session appeared on the official release Anthology 1 in 1995. Those songs are Searchin', Three Cool Cats, Besame Mucho, Sheik of Araby, Hello Little Girl and Like Dreamers Do. Three others were later recorded (much better) by Ringo and the gang and are quite familiar: Money, Memphis and Til There Was You.

That leaves six songs that are harder to come by, and those are presented here. I was going to put up audio-only versions from my own vinyl collection, but found these on YouTube (from a later remastered CD) to be of better sound quality. The nine tracks mentioned above are on YouTube too.

Three of these tunes were later recorded live at the BBC and appeared on the album of that name. The others, as far as I know, have never appeared on any "official" Beatles release.

John sings lead on Sure to Fall and To Know Her is to Love Her. George does Crying, Waiting, Hoping and Take Good Care of My Baby. That's Paul on September in the Rain and Love of the Loved (a Lennon/McCartney original).

P.S. Pete Best still performs with his own band, and released a CD as recently as 2008. Visit his website HERE.

For more Forgotten Music (and Forgotten Books) visit Patti Abbott's pattinase.











10 comments:

David Cranmer said...

I'm glad to see Pete Best still in the game. He deserved better then he got. I will check out his site.

Randy Johnson said...

I've got a 45 picked up somewhere with a couple of Silver Beatles tunes. As I haven't had a working turntable in a number of years, it was long ago packed away somewhere in the house.

Don't remember the songs though.

Jerry House said...

Back in the day, I owned an LP titled Best of the Beatles. I don't now if the album is the same as this one. If so, you've hit upon truly forgotten music because I for one have forgotten what was on the album.

Laurie said...

I'm glad about Pete Best too. Very good news. Great post, Dave.

George said...

I'll be seeking these songs out. Thanks for THE SILVER BEATLES commentary!

Richard Robinson said...

Wow, you did a music extravaganza! I thought I was doing pretty good just to figure out how to put a song in my effort... Thanks for all the goodies.

Richard Prosch said...

Nice work, Dave! Interesting to think "what might have been..."

ARCHAVIST said...

You can hear what they would become in placed with these tracks. Personally I like the Decca tracks on Anthology 1 and it really does seem strange that they were turned down by Decca. Pete Best never really made any money from the Beatles until anthology 1 of course. He twice tried suicide in the 70's

Evan Lewis said...

A quote I saw somewhere said Pete Best hadn't spoken to Paul since the guys gave him the boot back in '62. Do you suppose that's still true?

le0pard13 said...

Great post, Evan. Those are some fantastic music clips. Thanks for this.