Complete Apple Trax Vol. 2 (Adam VIII 49-023)
Vol. 2 of the Adam VIII Complete Apple Trax series is only marginally less interesting than its predecessor, if for any reason, probably because it contains a few too many "come on boys, let's rock!" type songs ("Hi Heel Sneakers," "Be-Bop-A-Lula," "Suzy Parker" etc.), for which you can really only blame the Beatles themselves.
Even so, there's some amazing stuff on here: a run-through of "Let it Be" featuring Paul verbally teaching the band the chords, the famous "Don't Dig No Pakistanis" version of "Get Back" which Paul has spent 30 years trying to explain, and one of my all-time favorite Beatle boot moments "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," featuring Paul and John taking turns wildly trouncing the song. "And so I quit the police department" sings Paul. "Get a job, cop!" shouts John. It's hilarious. "Tuesday's on the phone to me" sings Paul, ending the song. He adds, "Hello, this is Tuesday speaking." I think the full recording of this bit actually has him saying "Hello, this is Tuesday speaking, is Paul there?", which I seem to think I heard on a previous boot of the same material. But it's not here, perhaps that didn't happen as I remember.
There's a weird energy to these sessions, but sometimes the boys find themselves enjoying it despite not really wanting to be there. You can tell how close John and Paul were in particular, and also how strained the relationship had become. George gets no respect a couple of rehearsals of "I Me Mine" receive obviously no interest from John and Paul, who seem to get charged up only by goofing around on each other's material. George gets one of the best moments on the disc, though, with a solo run-through of Dylan's "I Threw it All Away" also, "Moma, You Been on My Mind." Other interesting bits: John doing "Child of Nature" (later "Jealous Guy"), Paul running through "Every Night," and an electric version of "Two of Us" that has some real spark. A
nd you can judge for yourself whether Paul was right to change this lyric from "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window": "She said she'd always been a dancer/I said my name was Dan LaRue/And when she said I've got the answer/I said, well who the hell are you?"
Ahem. Yeats he was not. As with the other volumes in the series, the sound quality is not great, and there are these little beeps that happen now and then, stemming from the fact that the source tapes were video and not audio tapes. But still, this is amazing stuff. In a perfect world, they'd release an official box set of these sessions, maybe six discs or so with cleaned up sound but A) it'll never happen, and B) they'd probably leave out all the best parts. Better to leave it to the bootleggers, I guess.
Review by Bonnie Bronson