Unsurpassed Promos - The Tour Years (DVD)

The Beatles
Unsurpassed Promos - The Tour Years (DVD) - Front cover
Unsurpassed Promos - The Tour Years (DVD) - Front Cover

Label Hobs, Apes & Jones
Catalogue No.   RVDVD-02
Release date January 2011
Total time 2 hour 19 minutes 30 Seconds
    DVD 1: 74:24
    DVD 2: 65:06
Comments : This double DVD set is the first of two double sets made available for free as a download.
This is set one: The Tour Years - set two is entitled The Studio Years

                                 Set One: The Tour Years
This set includes at least one version of every surviving song The Beatles ever mimed to.

The audio has been re-laid and precisely synchronised from the mono mixes and presented in lossless wav format for maximum listening pleasure.
The video has also been upgraded and enhanced and is completely free of timecodes and other screen junk.

Included are all the "Intertel" promo videos recorded by the band in 1965 and 1966 in newly-sourced unbooted form, as well as a host of other rare mimed performances from such shows as "Ready Steady Go", "Thank Your Lucky Stars" and "Big Night Out".

Rounding off volume one are ten songs from The Beatles first two films, remastered with mono sound and presented in uncropped 4:3 format.
"Tell Me Why", "If I Fell" and "The Night Before" have been restored to full length and all the tracks from "A Hard Day's Night" now run at their correct speed.

Also included are original audio options for some tracks, a couple of bonus tracks and a 5:1 slideshow featuring over one hundred still photos.

Hobs said:
"The aim of these discs is to bring together decent-looking versions of all the songs The Beatles mimed to during their career with high quality, properly synchronised audio. I've reworked it many times, adding or upgrading material along the way.
The video is derived from a lot of different sources, some booted, some not. I went over all the images and reset the levels to create a consistent overall look with good contrast and strong colour. Sometimes I compiled a clip out of several different sources, if I felt that the effect wasn't too jarring.

I chose the mono mixes for the soundtracks, because those were the versions the group were miming to, and because a lot of the songs included in this collection don't have good stereo mixes (I Want To Hold Your Hand, Day Tripper, Paperback Writer and Lady Madonna being good examples). I could have included both, but that would have meant twice as much work and a sacrifice in overall audio and video quality. Obviously for tracks where there are live vocals, I've used the original audio track. Likewise, all the Let It Be material uses the original audio (in stereo). In some instances I've included the original soundtrack as an option, either because of its rarity or some other unique aspect. The main audio tracks are lossless PCM, ie: cd quality.

The full download also includes a complete set of DVD artwork (covers, cd label's) and some support notes.

As "Hobnail" also states:
This is entirely a fan project and nobody makes any money out of it.
It isn't a business venture, it was done for the free amusement of myself and our friends, who probably own every official cd ever issued anyway.

Excellent attitude and JPGR's greateful thanks for the worthwhile effort and fantastic results.

JPGR Comment:
I love this set, especially the live performances (The Tour Years) - fantastic and so good to have.
Amazing what can be done using home "amateur" techniques, begging the usual question - why hasn't their been an official release like this !?

The Tour Years - D.V.D. One

Note: My copy of this breaks up badly on tracks 25-27, and then doesn't play at all tracks 28-32 !

No. Track Source Time
1 Love Me Do Rec: 27/08/1963
"The Mersey Sound" - Little Theatre, Southport
This was a promo made in the 80's.
It uses the incomplete mimed performance from 'The Mersey Sound', but here the audio has been changed to the Ringo version !
2 Please Please Me Rec: 11/02/1964
Washington Coliseum
Another 80's promo and included simply because there is no extant mimed version.
The audio is changed to the mono single version
3 Twist And Shout Rec: 14/08/1963
"Scene At 6:30" - Studio 4, Granada TV, Manchester
There is a break in the original film near the very end, the missing frames have been replaced with a quick shot of George.
4 From Me To You Rec: 01/09/1963
"Big Night Out" - Didsbury Studio 1, Manchester
This extended clip is made out of the shortened version mimed to on the above show,
filling the missing sections with cine material from the "Baby It's You" promo.
5 She Loves You Rec: 04/10/1963
"Ready Steady Go" - Studio 9, Television House, London
6 I'll Get You 2:02
7 Money Rec: 20/10/1963
"Thank Your Lucky Stars" - Alpha Studios, Birmingham
8 This Boy Rec: 25/11/1963
"Late Scene Extra" - Studio 4, Granada TV, Manchester
9 I Want To Hold Your Hand 2:24
10 All My Loving Rec: 23/02/1964
"Big Night Out" - Studio 1, Teddington
These four clips had a distracting timecode ticking away at the bottom of the screen, which Hobs has fudged out.
11 I Wanna Be Your Man 1:56
12 Till There Was You 1:23
13 Please Mr. Postman 2:34
14 It Won't Be Long Rec: 20/03/1964
"Ready Steady Go" - Studio 9, Television House, London
15 You Can't Do That 2:31
16 Can't Buy Me Love 2:11
17 Roll Over Beethoven Rec: 05/06/1964
"The Beatles In Nederland" - Cafe Treslong, Hilegorn, Denmark
When the fab four appeared on Dutch TV they wisely mimed rather than allow Jimmy Nicol to be heard making a meal of their songs. However the mic they were given to make announcements with was left open during the performances, catching Paul and George's sing-along vocals. Which one can hear if you select the original audio instead of the overlaid mono mixes.
This is also the only time cameras ever captured John playing his solo in Long Tall Sally - on every other occasion they were pointed in the wrong direction. Unfortunately this show has never appeared in anything but middling quality, but here at least it is watchable.
18 Long Tall Sally 2:02
19 A Hard Day's Night Rec: 05/04/1964
"A Hard Day's Night" - Marylebone Station, London
Basically, the opening movie credits with some other bits cut in.
20 And I Love Her Rec: 23/03/1964 - 02/04/1964
"A Hard Day's Night" - Scala Theatre, London
All of the following Hard Day's night extracts (through to Tell Me Why) have been reconstructed:
During filming of A Hard Day's Night the cameras were run at 25 frames per second for the musical numbers, rather than the normal 24fps. This was done to avoid strobing lines appearing on the tv monitors seen on set. This regrettable decision meant that all the numbers sounded slowed-down when screened at the normal cinema frame rate. Most of the vhs and dvd releases were also transferred at 24fps. The Mirimax UK dvd rerelease did run at 25fps, but it was cropped and the audio quality was awful. Here we have the 24fps version with the film speed increased to the correct rate before re-laying the audio. This production has also reconstructed the ending of Tell Me Why and blended the two available If I Fell clips together (the more interesting of which was incomplete). Both mono mixes of And I Love Her are included, with the US one being the default.
21 I'm Happy Just To Dance With You   1:56
22 If I Fell 2:22
23 I Should Have Known Better Rec: 31/03/1964
"A Hard Day's Night" - Scala Theatre, London
24 Tell Me Why 2:07
25 I Feel Fine Rec: 23/11/1964
"Ready Steady Go" - Wembley Studios, London
26 She's A Woman 3:00
27 Baby's In Black 2:04
28 Kansas City 2:28
29 She's A Woman Rec: 14/11/1964
"Thank Your Lucky Stars" - Teddington Studios
30 I'm A Loser 2:26
31 Rock And Roll Music 2:29
32 Bonus Track Beatles Cartoon to Eight Days A Week 2:41

The Tour Years - D.V.D. Two

No. Track Source Time
1 Help! Rec: 22/04/1965
"Help!" - Twickenham Film Studios
The original audio track features a unique mono mix with double-tracked vocals during the opening refrain.
2 You're Going To Lose That Girl Rec: 30/04/1965
"Help!" - Twickenham Film Studios
3 You've Got To Hide Your Love Away Rec: April/May 1965
"Help!" - Twickenham Film Studios
4 I Need You Rec: 03/05/1965
"Help!" - Salisbury Plain - Knighton Down, Larkhill
The Night Before - A lot of people's favourite song from the movie was spoiled by the sudden intrusion of She's A Woman halfway through. This production has had some surgery so that one can enjoy the complete uninterrupted track.
5 The Night Before 2:35
6 Another Girl Rec: 27/02/1965
"Help!" - Balmoral Island, Bahamas
7 Ticket To Ride Rec: 23/11/1965
Intertel Promo - Twickenham Film Studios
Ringo standing playing drums, while the others sit in director's chairs.
8 I Feel Fine
   (2 versions)
Rec: 23/11/1965
Intertel Promos - Twickenham Film Studios
Version 1:
   John and Paul in black roll neck jumpers singing around gym equipment.
   Ringo on an exercise bike, George singing into a punchball.
Version 2:
   The Beatles eating fish and chips around the gym film set.
(this version is from a much poorer source)
9 Help ! Rec: 23/11/1965
Intertel Promo - Twickenham Film Studios
The Beatles sit on a beam, Ringo holding an umbrella
10 We Can Work It Out
   (2 versions)
Rec: 23/11/1965
Intertel Promo - Twickenham Film Studios
11 Day Tripper
   (version 1)
Rec: 23/11/1965
Intertel Promo - Twickenham Film Studios
Clapperboard says, "Take 1 - Second Version"
12 We Can Work It Out
   (version 3)
Rec: 23/11/1965
Intertel Promo - Twickenham Film Studios
13 Day Tripper
   (version 2)
Rec: 23/11/1965
Intertel Promo - Twickenham Film Studios
Clapperboard says, "Take 1 - Third Version"
14 We Can Work It Out Rec: 1/11/1965 - 2/11/1965
"Music of Lennon and McCartney" - Granada TV, Manchester
These two tracks are from a repeat broadcast in 1984.
There's a lot of motion blur on these clips, but it appears that this is actually burned into the master. It seems that the old 405 line tape was converted to 625 line for the 1983 Granada special The Early Beatles using the 'optical' method - which involves pointing a 625 line camera at a vintage 405 line tv monitor (creating a smeary, slightly blurry, fishbowl effect).
The original soundtrack featured two unreleased mono mixes which one can access by using the remote.
15 Day Tripper 3:00
16 Paperback Writer/Rain Rec: 19/05/1966
Colour Intertel Promos - EMI Studio 1, Abbey Road
Introduced by Ringo for the Ed Sullivan show
The original soundtrack is spoiled by the Ed Sullivan audience clapping along, so here the defaults have the regular mono mixes overlaid.
17 Paperback Writer
   (3 versions)
Rec: 19/05/1966
B/W Intertel Promos - EMI Studio 1, Abbey Road
From an unbooted source.
18 Rain
   (2 versions)
Rec: 19/05/1966
B/W Intertel Promos - EMI Studio 1, Abbey Road
From an unbooted source.
19 Bonus Track Some Other Guy
Rec: 22/08/1962 (from the Cavern Club)
According to a Granada engineer writing in Record Collector, the producer of Know The North was unhappy with the original location audio on this clip and sent him down to the Cavern a few weeks later to record a new (audio only) performance to add to the film. The guy duly set up his mics, recorded a complete Beatles set and then returned to Granada with the results. But, try as they might, they couldn't get the two versions to synch up and so abandoned the idea (and the broadcast). The tape was subsequently lost but SOG survived on an acetate reference disc. So with the aid of 21st century technology this production has done what they could not.
The original audio is available as an option.
HIWAX created the timecode-erased video.
20 5.1 Slideshow And Your Bird Can Sing (Instrumental) 2:00

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