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The Beatles from Cavern to Star-Club Hardcover – October 20, 1997
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On the other, it needs a professional editing, particularly as concerns word-breaks. And the vertical half-page of text, half-page blank, makes reading difficult. Open the text up -- use the full page. And enlarge the font a point or two.
I would still not want to omit this from my Music/Beatles library.
Hans Olof Gottfridsson is one such person to delve into the murky waters of those sessions and has come up with an exhausting but incredibly informative book on the Beatles' early career. Billed as a chronicle, discography and price guide, it's the first of these that is more interesting, as very little recorded material before October 1962 has been officially released and any price guide is not only subjective but also out of date the day it's published. (The discography section includes recordings known to have been made but which remain unissued, legal or otherwise, alongside superfluous releases from Sheridan and a couple of other people.) What isn't open to speculation is that the eight Polydor recordings have probably been issued more times than any other songs by anyone.
Translated from, I'm assuming, Swedish, some of the early text in this heavyweight book is familiar ground for Beatle aficionados but included within that often encountered narrative are interviews with those who played a part; Carole Higgins (Percy Phillips' daughter), the other Quarrymen, Roy Young, Johnny 'Guitar' Byrne, and a few others. Some of what they say does pose some interesting questions, not least in what was taped in the studio in Germany. Whatever you may think about what Sheridan, Pete Best, and the tape operator say, they were there and we weren't. In addition to lots of worthwhile text, are many unseen (certainly by me) photos of tape boxes, acetates, documents, posters and records. Though none of the group photos spread liberally within the pages are unseen, they do fit in well.
To compliment this fine body of work, a four track EP (that's Extended Play for those under a certain age) is included, containing both the English and German spoken intro versions of `My Bonnie', `Swanee River' (which is one of the conjectured songs), and the original version of `Sweet Georgia Brown' (apart from this EP, this version was unavailable anywhere else for a number of years). Moreover, it's in stereo.