A Beatles' Recording Timeline: First and Best

The Beatles' First, etc.

Ahead to Please Please Me '63


OTHER WORKS: 
o 45 My Bonnie (Mein Herz ist bei dir nur) c/w The Saints (Deutsch)
o 45 My Bonnie (Twist) c/w The Saints (U.K.)
o LP The Beatles' First (Deutsch, 1964) 
==============================================================================================
FIRST AND BEST - 
The Beatles' earliest recordings through August 17, 1962.
The potential starting date is 1940, the year Ringo Starr and Stu Sutcliffe
were born (recordings of womb sounds may surface?).  
The ending date is the last day the Beatles' lineup did not include 
Ringo Starr as the band's permanent drummer.
        
= 1957 =========================================================
MAR57 John Lennon formed The Black Jacks, an informal skiffle band made up 
of Lennon (guitar) and Pete Shotton (washboard).  The name changed to The
Quarry Men about a week later.  Members would include Bill Smith, Nigel 
Whalley, Ivan Vaughan, Rod Davis, Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths, Len Garry, 
John Duff Lowe, Ken Browne, and future Beatle Pete Best at various times 
through 1957-1959.

1957  Ringo Starr joined the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group, and stayed
into 1958.

06JUL57 [CONCERT] PARISH FETE, WOOLTON (LIVERPOOL), EVENING SHOW
Recorded by Bob Molyneux on a portable Grundig.  
_ Let's Play House
o Puttin' On the Style
   o "Radio snippet" >0:30<
* (tracks unknown - lost 2nd reel)
. Come And Go With Me
. Cumberland Gap
. Railroad Bill
. Maggie Mae
Paul McCartney met Lennon at this event, & displayed his knowledge of:
. Long Tall Sally
. Tutti Frutti
. Twenty Flight Rock
. Be Bop A Lula

20JUL57 McCartney joined The Quarry Men.

Autumn57 LOST SKIFFLE 
Lennon entered Art College of Liverpool Institute.  The Hunter Davies 
biography mentions Lennon nicking a tape recorder from the school.
* Tracks unknown.

18OCT57 McCartney debuted with The Quarry Men.
. Guitar Boogie Shuffle

LATE57 [RECORDING] QUARRY MEN REHEARSALS AT THE HANTON'S
Recorded by Geraldine Davies.  Recording continued into 1958.
* Tracks unknown.

= 1958 =========================================================
06FEB?58 George Harrison joined The Quarry Men.  He had previously been
a member of The Rebels, a short-lived group.  His audition included:
. Be Bop A Lula
. Raunchy 

SPRING/SUMMER58 [STUDIO] PHILLIPS SOUND RECORDING SERVICE 78RPM ACETATE
The Quarry Men: L, McC, H, John Duff Lowe (piano), Colin Hanton (drums).
MIXNotes: Further variations (original shellac's sound subjected to 
varying degrees of audio processing) are unlisted.
o That'll Be the Day 
   o "ANTH1" [Mono]
o In Spite Of All the Danger 
   o "ANTH1" [Mono][2:42]
   _ "Complete" [Mono][3:25]

LATE58? [RECORDING] LIVERPOOL INSTITUTE LUNCH BREAK
Vocal: McCartney
* Pick A Bale Of Cotton

LATE58?  Ringo Starr belonged to Darktown Skiffle Group.
= 1959 =========================================================

1959  The Quarry Men's repertoire included the songs listed above and:
. Hello Little Girl
. I Lost My Little Girl
. Love Me Do
. You Know I Love You
. One After 909
. Looking Glass
. Cat Call (Catswalk)
. Winston's Walk
. Thinking Of Linking
. The Years Roll Along
. Keep Looking That Way
. That's My Woman
. Just Fun
. Too Bad About Sorrows
. When I'm Sixty-Four
. Hot As Sun
. You're In My Little Book (McC)
& probably other originals.  These were transcribed, but transcriptions
were lost (along with tapes?) when Jane Asher cleaned McC's closet.  
Also they had learned:
. Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O
. Ain't She Sweet
. You Were Meant For Me
. Home
. You Are My Sunshine

JAN59-AUG59  George Harrison was a member of Les Stewart Quartet.

25MAR59  Ringo Starr joined Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

29AUG59  Harrison re-joined The Quarry Men.

1959 RORY STORM AND THE HURRICANES CONCERT RECORDINGS
The earliest recordings of Ringo Starr.  Tapes were recorded at 
various Liverpool clubs throughout Ringo's membership in this band.
* Tracks unknown.

15NOV59 Talent contest - Carroll Levi's TV Star Search
Johnny and the Moondogs: 
. It's So Easy 
. Think It Over 

= 1960 =========================================================
JAN60 Stu Sutcliffe joins Johnny and the Moondogs as bass.  Work is
sparse.  The group remains without a steady drummer.  Drummers will 
include Johnny Hutch, Norman Chapman, and Tommy Moore.
The band's name begins evolving and by August will have played as The 
Beatals, The Silver Beats, Long John & The Silver Beetles, The Silver 
Beetles, The Silver Beatles, and The Nerk Twins.

APR60 [RECORDING] THE BEATALS AT HOME
The Beatals: Lennon (guitar/vocals), McCartney (guitar/vocals), Harrison
(guitar), Stu Sutcliffe (bass).  Also Mike McCartney (percussion).  

Studio: McCartney's bathroom at No. 20 Forthlin Road over school vacation.
Other locales and dates may be associated with these recordings.

MIXnotes: ALL TRACKS ARE [Mono]. 
o Wild Cat  [1:24] 
o Wild Cat  [2:24]
_ snippet d [0:15]
o I'll Always Be In Love With You [2:19]
_ snippet b [0:08]
o You'll Be Mine 
   o "Complete" [1:42]
   o "ANTH1 edit"
o snippet c [0:09] "ragged end lead-in to Matchbox"   
o Matchbox [0:53]
_ snippet e of One After 909 [0:02]
o Some Days [1:32]
o Cayenne
   o "Complete bootleg" [2:31]
   o "ANTH1 edit"
o One After 909  "w/Mike McCartney"
   o "Bootleg" [1:28]
   _ "Complete, Icke reel's w/0:14 false end" [1:42]
o Well, Darling 
   o "Bootleg edit" [3:19]
   _ "LONGER Kirchherr reel" [5:11]
_ snippet f [0:02]
o You Must Write Every Day [2:32]
o That's When Your Heartaches Begin [1:14]
_ snippet g of Hello Little Girl [0:05]
o Hello Little Girl [1:51]
o The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise [2:30]
_ snippet i [0:03]
o I Don't Know [5:52]
_ snippet h [0:03]
o I Don't Need No Cigarette, Boy 
   o "Bootleg edit" [5:53]
   _ "LONGER K:5 reel" [7:36]
o That's An Important Number [7:49]
o Turn The Mixers Off [4:56]
  
o I'll Follow The Sun "w/Mike McCartney" [1:46]
o Hallelujah! I Love Her So 
   o "Complete w/0:17 intro" [2:36]
   o "ANTH1 edit"
o One After 909  [2:25]
o Movin' N' Groovin' [3:19]
o Ramrod [0:26]
_ snippet a [0:02]
o 12-Bar Instrumental In A [11:44]
o 12-Bar Instrumental in G [7:42]
o 12-Bar Instrumental in F [11:06]
o That's The End [17:40]
_ When I'm 64
_ Winston's Walk
_ Ask Me Why
_ Spoken Lennon nonsense w/radio [3:46]

For a detailed analysis of the APR60 Beatals At Home sessions, click here.

20MAY60-28MAY60  Johnny Gentle concert tour.
The Silver Beetles: L, H, McC, Stu Sutcliffe, Thomas Moore (drums)
Added to the repertoire:
. Moonglow
. Long Tall Sally

JUN60  JACARANDA TAPE
Allan Williams taped The Beatles & other bands, but tape was unlistenable.
* Tracks unknown.

JUL60 GROSVENOR CONCERT SONGLIST
. Hallelujah I Love Her So
. That's Alright Mama
. Stuck On You
. Tutti Frutti
. Long Tall Sally
. What'd I Say?
. Red Sails In the Sunset
. Whole Lotta Shakin'
. Mean Woman Blues
. I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine
. Honey Don't
. Clarabella
. Rip It Up
. Fabulous
. Lotta Lovin'
. Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey
. Jenny, Jenny
. Little Queenie
. Oh My Soul
. Lucille
. Lawdy Miss Clawdy
. Cathy's Clown
. One After 909
. Words of Love
. I'll Never Let You Go
. I Wonder If I Care As Much
. Sure To Fall
. Alright OK You Win

12AUG60 Pete Best auditioned for and joined The Beatles.

17AUG60 First Hamburg gig begins.
The Beatles: Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe, & Pete Best.  
The Indra Club, The Kaiserkeller, Top Ten Club.  The Beatles met Ringo 
Starr, Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voorman, and others.  They backed up
Tony Sheridan for a few nights near the end of the stay.

15OCT60 [STUDIO] AKUSTIC STUDIO, HAMBURG
On "Summertime": Lennon, Harrison and McCartney, mit Ringo Starr and
"Wally/Lu Walters"/Walter Eymond of Rory Storm & the Hurricanes.
On "Fever" and "September Song": Starr particpates.
* Summertime 
* Fever 
* September Song

30NOV60  First Hamburg gig ended.  George Harrison deported as underaged.
McCartney & Best deported for arson.

DEC60  The group started a long series of steady bookings in England.  Chas
Newby played bass until Sutcliffe's return to England in January.

= 1961 =========================================================
21FEB61 First of about 300 shows at the Cavern Club, Liverpool.

27MAR61 Second Hamburg gig began.
The Beatles: L, McC, H, Stu Sutcliffe, & Pete Best.
Top Ten Club, gig starting 01APR61.  Tony Sheridan is also a performer on the bill there.

MAR-JUN61 Stu Sutcliffe (gradually) quits The Beatles.

22JUN61 [STUDIO] POLYDOR W/TONY SHERIDAN SESSION #1a
The Beat Brothers: Lennon (rhythm g., vocals), McCartney (bass,vocals), 
Harrison (lead & rhythm guitar, vocals), & Pete Best (drums).
Tony Sheridan (lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar).
Studio: Harburg, Germany, Friedrich-Ebert Halle.  
MIXnotes: True stereo.  Mono mixes of all Polydor/Sheridan tracks exist.

o My Bonnie (Mein Herz ist bei dir nur) "Deutsch Intro" 
   o [Stereo] Rare.
   o [Mono] "Original 45 mix"
o My Bonnie (Twist) [2:42] "English Intro" 
   o [Stereo] 
   o [Mono] "Original 45 mix"
   X "ANTH1 tampered track"
   X "Common edit with slow intro section removed"
o The Saints (When The Saints Go Marching In) [3:18]
   o [Stereo]
   o [Mono] "Original 45 mix"
o Why (Can't You Love Me Again) [2:58] 
   o [Stereo]
   o [Mono]
o Cry For A Shadow [2:23]
   o [Stereo]
   o [Mono]
   X [ANTH1 "reversed channels"]
  
23JUN61 [STUDIO] POLYDOR W/TONY SHERIDAN SESSION #1b
See notes for 22JUN61.  Track split between 22nd & 23rd is guesswork.
o Nobody's Child [3:55]
   o [Stereo]
   o [Mono]
o Ain't She Sweet [2:12]
   o [Stereo] Rare.
   o [Mono]
   X [Mono & mock stereo] "ANTH1;ATCO tampered mix w/OM NTB SI"
o Take Out Some Insurance  [2:53] "aka If You Love Me Baby" 
   o [Stereo]
   o [Mono]
   X [Mono & mock stereo] "ATCO tampered mix w/OM NTB SI"

24JUN61 Sometimes cited as a recording date, Studio Rahlstedt was not yet built.

Summer61 McCartney and Sheridan songwriting session?
. Tell Me If You Can

02JUL61 Second Hamburg gig ends.

23OCT61 "My Bonnie (Mein Herz ist bei dir nur) c/w The Saints" released.

28OCT61 Brian Epstein takes an interest in the group.
The Beatles repertoire includes:
. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
. What'd I Say
. Red Sails In the Sunset
. Hit the Road, Jack
10DEC61  Brian Epstein joins the Beatles.

21DEC61  Tony Sheridan records the bulk of LP My Bonnie without any Beatle.
Because tracks are so frequently ascribed to the Beatles, they're listed
in full here as a reference to what the Beatles did NOT record.
NTB Sweet Georgia Brown "THIS version, from the "My Bonnie LP", is Not The Beatles."
NTB Swanee River [Stereo] "Just possibly Beatles' 24MAY62 version"
NTB Skinny Minny
NTB Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On
NTB I Know Baby
NTB You Are My Sunshine
NTB Ready Teddy
NTB Hallelujah I Love Her So
NTB Let's Twist Again
NTB Top Ten Twist

= 1962 =========================================================
01JAN62 [STUDIO] DECCA AUDITION TAPE
The Beatles: L, McC, H, & Pete Best.
MIXNotes: All recorded in [Mono].
o Like Dreamers Do
   o "Bootleg"
   o "ANTH1"
o Money (That's What I Want)
o To Know Him Is To Love Him
o Memphis
o Till There Was You
o Sure To Fall
o Besame Mucho
o Love Of the Loved
o Hello Little Girl 
   o "Bootleg"
   o "ANTH1"
o Three Cool Cats
   o "Bootleg"
   o "ANTH1"
o September In the Rain
o Take Good Care Of My Baby
o Crying, Waiting, Hoping
o The Sheik Of Araby
   o "Bootleg"
   o "ANTH1"
o Searchin'
   o "Bootleg"
   X "ANTH1 tampered mix"

05JAN62 "My Bonnie c/w The Saints" released in UK.

JAN-MAR62  Ringo Starr performed with Tony Sheridan's band in Hamburg.

07MAR62 [BBC] HERE WE GO/TEENAGERS' TURN (#1 of 5) LIVE AT PLAYHOUSE THEATRE
Broadcast 08MAR62.  L, McC, H, & Pete Best.
o Memphis
o Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)
o Please Mr. Postman
* Hello Little Girl was not broadcast.

MAR62  Brian Epstein starts shopping for contracts using recordings 
including the Decca Tape.  Red Sails In the Sunset, Till There Was You,
What'd I Say, Your Feet's Too Big, and Please Mr. Postman may have been 
among the recordings used as well.  

10APR62 Stuart Sutcliffe dies of brain hemorrhage.

11APR62 Third Hamburg gig begins - John, Paul & Pete arrive this day.
13APR62 Star-Club performances begin.
09MAY62 Epstein and Martin's second meeting.  Martin agrees to sign the Beatles.

24MAY62 [STUDIO] POLYDOR W/TONY SHERIDAN SESSION #2
The Beat Brothers: McC (bass/vocals), H (rhythm/vocal), L (vocal), 
Pete Best (drums), and Roy Young (piano).
Studio Rahlstedt (Wandsbek), Hamburg, Germany.  Twintrack stereo.

Footnotes: The available Tony Sheridan/Beat Brothers recording of "Swanee 
River" found on the original _My Bonnie_ LP is (almost) certainly NTB, but 
provides a glimpse at what the arrangement must have sounded like.  The 
Beatles version of "Swanee River" from this date is lost.
Tony Sheridan performed his share of the tracks (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) 07JUN62.
Seemingly, an attempt was being made to improve upon Sheridan's recordings of 21DEC61.

o Sweet Georgia Brown [2:05]
   o [Stereo] Very rare.
   o [Mono] Rare.
   o Novelty vocal version [Stereo] "Sheridan's JAN64 SI to original backing"
   X Atco tampered version has NTB drums & guitar SI
* Swanee River [Stereo and mono]

28-29MAY62 Kaempfert booked Studio Rahlstedt,Wandsbek for unrealized Beatles session.
31MAY62 Star-Club performances end.  Beatles remain in Hamburg.
04JUN62 Third Hamburg trip ends, Epstein telegraphs Beatles to return home.

06JUN62 [STUDIO] PARLOPHONE ARTIST TEST, EMI #3 STUDIO, ABBEY ROAD
The Beatles: L, McC, H, Pete Best.  First recording w/ George Martin.
o Love Me Do "ANTH1"
o Besame Mucho "ANTH1"
* Ask Me Why
* P.S., I Love You

11JUN62 [BBC] HERE WE GO (#2 of 5) LIVE AT PLAYHOUSE THEATRE, MANCHESTER
Aired 15JUN62.  The Beatles: L, McC, H, Pete Best.
o Ask Me Why
o Besame Mucho
o A Picture Of You

MID-62  RUMORED DEMOS
There are persistent rumors of demo tapes cut at this time of
. I Lost My Little Girl
. Looking Glass
. Cat Call (Catswalk)
. Winston's Walk
. The Years Roll Along
. Keep Looking That Way

01JUL62 [CONCERT] GENE VINCENT JAMS AT THE CAVERN CLUB
o What'd I Say

JUL62  [CONCERT] CAVERN CLUB
The Beatles: L, McC, H, Pete Best.
McCartney purchased this tape at a Sotheby's auction.
_ Hey Baby
_ If You Gotta Make a Fool Of Somebody
_ Hippy Hippy Shake
_ Please Mr. Postman
_ Roll Over Beethoven
_ Ask Me Why
_ Sharing You
_ Your Feets Too Big
_ Words Of Love
_ Till There Was You
_ Dizzy Miss Lizzie
_ I Forgot To Remember To Forget
_ Matchbox (vocal: Pete Best)
_ Shimmy Shake
_ Young Blood
_ Dream Baby

15AUG62 Pete Best's last Beatles' work, a show at the Cavern Club.
16AUG62 Pete Best was fired from the group.
        L, McC, H, and "Johnny Hutch"/John Hutchinson (drums) play.
17AUG62 L, McC, H, and "Johnny Hutch"/John Hutchinson (drums) play.
        The Beatles' last day without Ringo Starr.

Shortened FIRST AND BEST track listing here.

KEY: RECORDING TYPES AND SESSION NOTES

Recording Types
o Collectable. _ Exists/Uncollectable. * Recorded/Lost.
% Collectable AS an embedded component of officially released track.
. Song title listed to provide context. No recording implied.
X Undesirable forgery, bad edit, or other crap.
Session Notes
OM = Other Musicians for Beatles' product.
NTB = Not The Beatles.
Song title "version name" ... The quoted phrase is to indicate some distinctive characteristic of this recording version of the song.

o To The BEATLES RECORDING TIMELINE Table Of Contents

1stbest.htm (c)2003 by Doug Carey mdcarey@compuserve.com, last updated 03MAY2003.