November 27, 2010 – 5:55 pm

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

The Decca Audition [TheOneBeatleMan Remaster, 1CD]

Very good mono soundboard.

For the serious Beatles fan, who owns the albums in the various formats and incarnations, the Beatles on iTunes is no biggie. This is probably why Richie Unterberger wrote on the Mojo site about “the real gold still in them thar hills. Cue the best Beatles music that’s still not available officially, and that’s not even counting Carnival Of Light or the mythical, 15-minute-odd Helter Skelter…”

At the head of the list is The Decca Audition Tapes (January 1, 1962). Unterberger wrote: “The complete 15-song tape of their unsuccessful audition for Decca Records, long bootlegged, with five cuts finding official release on Anthology 1. This is the first studio-quality, album-length recording of the Beatles, as well as by far the best-sounding recording of the group while Pete Best was still the drummer. Among the material not to show up on Anthology 1 is one Lennon-McCartney original (Love Of The Loved) and two covers (of Bobby Vee’s Take Good Care Of My Baby and the pop standard September In The Rain) of which no other Beatles versions have circulated.”

Click here for Richer Unterberger’s list of unreleased Beatles.

According to the wikipedia, the Decca audition is the name given to the now-famous Beatles audition for Decca Records at their Decca Studios in West Hampstead, north London, England, before they reached international stardom. Decca’s decision to reject the group is considered to be one of the biggest mistakes in music history.

The Decca Audition (from left): Dr Ebbetts; Remasters Workshop; Fake Parlophone.

Over the years, The Decca Audition Tapes had surfaced - on their own, and mastered by such luminaries as Purple Chick and Dr Ebbetts. At the beginning of 2010, the Remasters Workshop version surfaced (pitch, level and phase corrected). The release notes state: “The source used here is the Masterdisc CD. It sounded the best out of all the other issues, and had no noise reduction, except that it ran a semitone sharp, with some variations. There was a small imbalance in level between channels - that’s fixed. Not a fraction of a second of audio is added or taken away.”

But recently, a “fake Parlophone” version of The Decca Audition surfaced on a torrent site. Beatles4Ever commented on this 2009 release: “This Japanese version looks good but the sound is very muddy. It’s a shame really, because I had high hopes that this was made from the master tapes and it is clearly a bad copy of a copy from somewhere. Oh well, perhaps someday we will all get to hear the actual tapes as they were recorded but for now the Remasters Workshop version is the best out there.”

CD notes from the Fake Parlophone disc (click on the graphic for a better view)

Meanwhile, TheOneBeatleMan commented:

Since 1977, there were many attempts to get all the songs of that audition. The original recordings were made on two-track master tapes, one for instruments and the other for the vocals. It seems that they still exist, the master tapes, but unfortunately all the releases (unofficial and official) had been in mono or fake stereo, even the Anthology (with one-third of the songs) was in mono, but of great quality, not excellent, but great.

Most of the attempts had failings like:

- Pitch tone of the songs very high.
- Some of them don’t contain the three Lennon-McCartney original songs.
- Some of them have sound problems (clicks, buzzes, cracks, etc.)
- Some have the name ‘The Silver Beetles’ or ‘The Silver Beatles’ when in fact, they were called ‘The Beatles’ by then, that name had been used since 1960.
- Some of these have parts of the songs repeated to make the songs longer or for other reasons.

It seems that the best remaster for the moment is the one by Dr. Ebbetts in 2001. More recently, there is The Remasters Workshop, that supposedly, recorrected, retuned and remastered the songs in A = 440. I’d heard this remaster, but the big ‘but’ of this new remaster is that it used another bootleg [not the one done by Dr. Ebbetts], and so, some sounds were impossible to edit [or improve].

Now I present to you, my own remaster of The Decca Audition. All the 15 songs carefully remastered, using Dr. Ebbetts’ bootleg, repairing the edits as much as possible - some default cracks cannot be repaired, but are almost inaudible.

Thanks to TheOneBeatleMan for sharing these tracks on the net.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

01. Like Dreamers Do (Lennon/McCartney) - Omitted*
Track 02.  Money (That’s What I Want) (Gordy/Bradford) (5.5MB)
Track 03. Till There Was You (Meredith Wilson) (6.9MB)
04. The Sheik of Araby (Smith/Wheeler/Snyder) - Omitted*
Track 05. To Know Her Is to Love Her (Phil Spector) (6.0MB)
Track 06. Take Good Care of My Baby (King/Goffin) (5.7MB)
Track 07. Memphis, Tennessee (Chuck Berry) (5.4MB)
Track 08. Sure to Fall (In Love with You) (Cantrell/Claunch/Perkins) (4.7MB)
09. Hello Little Girl (Lennon/McCartney) - Omitted*
10. Three Cool Cats (Leiber/Stoller) - Omitted*
Track 11. Crying, Waiting, Hoping (Buddy Holly) (4.8MB)
Track 12. Love Of The Loved (Lennon/McCartney) (4.3MB)
Track 13. September In The Rain (Warren/Dubin) (4.3MB)
Track 14. Bésame Mucho (Consuelo Velázquez) (6.2MB)
15. Searchin’ (Leiber/Stoller) - Omitted*

* Available on The Beatles Anthology 1.

Click on the link to order The Beatles‘ Anthology series.

  1. 25 Responses to “THE BEATLES - THE DECCA AUDITION”

  2. Thanks big O!

    By Namoosedog on Nov 27, 2010

  3. Thanks, this is great!

    By Bernard Zalon on Nov 28, 2010

  4. Very nice indeed. I had short version 10 songs on LP from the latter 70’s, which sounded a little over-produced. This sounds clean. Thank you for a 320kbps version! I also appreciate the additional background information on the sessions. Super presentation all around!

    By 2yrsnojob on Nov 29, 2010

  5. Thanx - always the best.
    CD also released as: “The Beatles with Pete Best - The Decca Sessions” on Recall Records, 2007.

    By niky on Nov 29, 2010

  6. pete himself has released this semi-officially several times in various versions and lengths the longest one ive seen was 16 tracks on one lp. there was a two lp version once but it included some live sessions he did as well. he used to sell them privately and he often distributed them thru some private distribution service in order to stir up money.
    funny thing at one time his job was actually at an employment office finding people jobs. ironic. he is one of the nicest people u could ever meet. very friendly and charming.

    By darth on Nov 29, 2010

  7. Darth, maybe Pete the Best could help me get a job. I hear the US Govt has new jobs available trying to put fingers in the dikes at Wikileaks!

    I have another LP of Pete’s band in the 60’s. About half of it is not bad at all. At least comparable or better than some of their contemporaries. As an aside, does anyone remember who replaced Ringo as the drummer in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes? (sp)

    By 2yrsnojob on Nov 29, 2010

  8. The Decca audition tape? Wonderful, wonderful … it brought back happy memories of my youth! Beame mucho, indeed!!

    By Canute on Nov 30, 2010

  9. i think when pete had that job he was in the uk at the time. not in the usa. it was early 60s. they hadnt gotten to the usa til 64.
    many many people i know are looking for work here in the states and abroad too. i know what u are going thru. i too have been out of work for many yrs. now i am disabled and i live on less than $8k a year.
    as for after ringo leaving the hurricanes–that didnt happen quite that smoothly as u may think. he left and continued to record with them and did a show here and there. he went with tony sheridan for a short stay then back with rory storm. finally he left and according to wikipedia–The Hurricanes would then become known for having a succession of drummers (including Gibson Kemp, Brian Johnson, John Morrison, Keef Hartley (August 1963) Ian Broad, and Trevor Morais) who would all stay with the group for a short period before leaving.

    By darth on Nov 30, 2010

  10. Check out “Haymans Green” by Pete Best Band.
    Really, really good.

    By niky on Nov 30, 2010

  11. “Hayman’s Green” is good, but there are moments that sound distinctly amateurish, and Pete doesn’t sing at all on it.
    Plus the DVD “Best of the Beatles” shows some “making of” footage of the “Hayman’s Green” recording process, and in it Pete is seen being brought prospective songs for him to listen to for possible inclusion on the album, so his involement was minimal unfortunately!

    By todd on Dec 1, 2010

  12. Thanks so much. Have the Japanese disc and, compared to this version, it does sound inferior. They did a great job on packaging, as you can see from these posts.

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Dec 1, 2010

  13. Big O, thank you indeed for this amazing piece of history.

    By Erik on Dec 2, 2010

  14. Thanks for a such positive review of my remaster. Shame that Like Dreamers Do, The Sheik Of Araby, Hello Little Girl, Three Cool Cats and Searchin’ does not appear for download here, it does have differences with the Anthology ones, it have fixed tape mistakes, and a more clean sound. But anyway, thanks for the review.

    By TheOneBeatleMan on May 31, 2011

  15. This will sound crazy, but it is true. i have a reel to reel one sided studio recording of the beatles( to know her). my father was a recording artist in vancouver canada in the early 1970’s. my mom received this tape in 1970. it was in the 1980’s that my mom took the tape to cbc edmonton to varify its contents. they were only allowed to play a few seconds and did not know who it was supposed to be, but confirmed it was studio quality. what do you think?

    By shawn on Apr 2, 2012

  16. shawn - have u listened to this recording on this page? have u listened to the reel2reel tape in your possession? u might wanna make a cd copy of it for convenience btw. did u compare the two? im not excruciatingly anal as i used to be or as many beatlemaniacs are but it may be possible that the beatles did another take or version of the song after this audition. i wouldnt be surprised if it is among the 239 or was it 400+ bbc recordings they did? i know i have an 11 or 15 cd set of beatles at the beeb recordings. its been yrs since i recorded / listened to it so i forget. sorry. but for all i know they could have done this song during the 62-65 era too.
    all im saying is check it out. with as little information as u seem to have anything is possible. id start out comparing this track on here with the one u have.

    By darth on Apr 4, 2012

  17. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow,
    just wanted to say excellent blog!

    By constitutionalist on Dec 15, 2013

  18. whats this got to do with music ,and what are you doing here go away the duke

    By the duke on Dec 18, 2013

  19. the post i made was in reference to the one bigo must haved removed not to any one else enjoy the music the duke

    By the duke on Dec 18, 2013

  20. sometimes u have to copy and save the comment u make just in case that might happen. or put it into a text file in case that will happen just in case bigo doesnt copy it to the page especially if its a long posting. then purge your cache and reset your browser.. perhaps restart and try again. its happened to me more than a few times. very frustrating when u go to a lot of work to say something and its just gone.

    By darth on Dec 18, 2013

  21. very frustrating when u go to a lot of work to say something …

    as in your 10000 word pity posts?
    believe me ,i wish they would all disappear.

    By teeny bopper on Dec 18, 2013

  22. “very frustrating when u go to a lot of work to say something”

    Work??? Your rants are more like hysterical psychosis.

    By Dingus on Dec 18, 2013

  23. they do disappear.. when u dont read them. no one forces u to read the comments at all including mine. in fact.. especially mine.
    do u count the words?

    By darth on Dec 19, 2013

  24. do u count the words?

    no, certainly not, its the words that count, and yours don`t.

    By teeny bopper on Dec 19, 2013

  25. but u seem hung up on mine. why? whats wrong with u? u repeatedly say that its 10000 words. u must be counting them. it cant always be 10000 words. if mine dont count why do they continually inspire u to respond? what are u saying thats better?

    By darth on Dec 20, 2013

  26. boo hoo.
    What`s the least popular whine in the U.S.A.?

    darth !

    By teeny bopper on Dec 20, 2013

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