For probably the most thorough examination of The Beatles' history with Capitol Records,
see these excellent resources by author Bruce Spizer.
Bruce Spizer discussion about Capitol acetates and other Captiol rarities
from an interview for The World Beatles Forum. http://www.beatle.net/twbf_interview.htm
QUESTION: In your research and with your talks with former Capitol president Alan Livingston, did you discover if Capitol had plans to release further Beatles product-different compilations and configurations? Beatles historian and collector Gareth Pawlowski was in possession of several Capitol acetate albums (originally owned by Brian Epstein), that involved more Beatles interviews.
SPIZER: As discussed in my Capitol album book, Capitol prepared acetates in the summer of 1964 for a double LP titled "Best Of The Beatles." It was never released. There were also a few acetates prepared for potential interview discs. These would have been done in a style similar to "The Beatles' Story." I recently came across the paper work and tape for yet another interview LP. It came with a memo from Alan Livingston saying that the interview was available for use. I didn't get the impression that Capitol seriously considered putting it out. It was just something to file away for possible future use.
QUESTION: Why was the Hollywood Bowl album delayed for release until 1977? The perennial rumor is that Capitol will release the Hollywood Bowl album this year on CD. Do you know anything about this?
SPIZER: Capitol recorded the Beatles in August of 1964 and 1965 at the Hollywood Bowl. In 1964, the plan was to release a live album quickly to give plenty of time for Christmas sales. Capitol cut acetates and probably sent copies to Brian Epstein and George Martin. The label was very upset when word came back from England not to release the LP. Martin thought the crowd noise and the performances ruined the record. He believed that the studio performances were better. Capitol believed that the LP would sell in the millions. So, although Capitol desperately wanted to issue the live album, the Beatles and George Martin blocked it release. The same thing, more or less, happened in 1965.
The success of the Rock 'n' Roll Music album in 1976 proved that the public was willing to buy "new" Beatles product. It was only logical that the Hollywood Bowl tapes be pulled off the shelf. Capitol programmed a double album with performances from both 1964 and 1965. George Martin had other ideas. He and his engineers ran the Capitol tapes through a vintage tape machine and prepared a single record using what Martin considered to be the best performances from 1964 and 1965. As expected, the album was a big seller.
Eventually the Hollywood Bowl will be released legitimately on CD. Hopefully it will be expanded to include both full concerts. There are some bootleg CDs that sound wonderful. Because the technology has improved so much since 1977, Capitol/EMI/Apple could easily put out a terrific sounding CD of both shows. My guess is that the concerts will be out on CD within the next three years.
QUESTION: Is the Butcher cover the Holy Grail for collectors? Are there other Capitol records that are rarer? What are some of the rarer things in your collection?
SPIZER:...Capitol acetate albums are certainly much rarer, but they don't attract the multitude of collectors as the Butchers. That's probably a good thing as most acetates are limited to five or less copies!
QUESTION: You documented surviving acetates and stories behind a few Beatles albums that Capitol prepared, but did not release. How might that have changed things?
SPIZER: In the summer of 1964, Capitol prepared a double album called Best Of The Beatles, which was to combine the Capitol and Vee-Jay hits. While this would have been a terrific album, Capitol could not release it because Vee-Jay didn't lose its rights to its 16 Beatles songs until October of 1964. I don't know why Capitol's production department did not know that. So, much to the horror of the Capitol sales force, that LP never happened. Another interesting acetate was for a single LP from 1966 called Beatle Tour. It was similar in style and format to The Beatles Story, mixing music by the Hollyridge Strings with interviews of the members of the band. I don't know if that was going to be an official release or just a promo album. And of course, the album that most frustrated the Capitol sales force, the unreleased Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl from 1964. That album would have easily sold over two million copies in its first month, but George Martin and the Beatles blocked its release because they were not happy with the sound or the band's performance on a few songs. I own the mono acetate and it sounds fabulous. It captures the excitement of the concert. There are only three songs where the Beatles are slightly off on the vocals: I Want To Hold Your Hand, If I Fell and A Hard Day's Night. It would have been a great live album that would have sold extremely well.
QUESTION: Your book contains an image of a cover for Live At The Hollywood Bowl album that will no doubt attract a lot of attention and comment.
SPIZER: Yeah, I had some fun with that one. My research indicated that Capitol probably never prepared a cover for the album because the project was killed shortly after the acetates were cut. I wondered what the cover would have looked like, so I designed my version of the cover as I thought the Capitol art department would have done it in 1964. I combined aspects of Capitol's live Beach Boys album from 1964 with the basic layout of Something New. I then came up with text mimicking Capitol's style. My partner-in-crime was my pre-press person, Diana Thornton, who brought the ideas in my head to life. A few months after we printed the cover, I interviewed George Osaki, who was head of the Capitol art department during the sixties. He designed the unique Capitol album covers for those early LPs. George got a chuckle out of our creation, saying it was exactly what he would have done at the time.
Listed by, http://www.rarebeatles.com/bonham2.htm
TEN ACETATES FOR THE UNRELEASED COMPILATION ALBUM 'CAPITOL HITS 1970-79'. American 1981
Subject: BEATLES ACETATE FOR SALE
Date: Fri Nov 5 07:13:47 1982
Re: Beatles demos et al
I have been a Beatles collector (on and off) for 15 years at least. Regarding acetates: original acetates (of Beatles) command a high price (to some collectors). For example, last year I sold the only Beatles acetate I've owned - She Loves You - Capitol 45 - for $225. It is quite correct that acetates don't hold up after a few plays.
If you are interested, send mail.
CHAZZ NOTE: This might be another of the red text labeled acetates for The Beatles' Second Album.
I wrote to the email address provided with the post but received no reply.
I found this posted on some forum (I've lost which forum it was).
From: Robert York
Subject: FS: Beatles Acetate Recording
I have a Metal Acetate of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles. The Acetate is 10". The flip side is King Curtis doing a song called "MoreSoul".
The Capitol label is missing from the Beatle side. I'm selling for $600.00. Email me if interested.
I wrote to Mr. York regarding this item but his reply was quite blunt, uninformative and not very helpful. He seemed quite unwilling to provide any significant information. That communication is seen below.
From: Chazz Avery
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004
To: Robert York
Subject: Beatles acetate
I have a website focused on Beatles acetates. You might or might not be familiar with it. http://beatlesource.com
In doing research for the site I came across [your web posting of this acetate]
I was wondering what else you could tell me about that acetate and if you have any images of the disc.
From: "Robert York"
To: "'Chazz Avery'"
Subject: RE: Beatles acetate
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004
That was sold years ago. Very cool item.
From: Chazz Avery
In early 2006, an eBay seller with the user name of "staticflame" began a series of eBay listings of Beatles Capitol acetates. To date, all are listed on Page One. However, the seller apparently has several other Capitol acetates. Responding to inquiries, "staticflame" supplied the following information in one of his listings...
"Due to the amount of emails asking me which Beatles Capitol acetates I'll be listing in the near future,
I have put together a list. Thanks to everyone that emailed me with an interest!"
8" ('68 dated)
A Hard Days Night / I Should Have Known Better
I Feel Fine / Shes A Woman
Nowhere Man / What Goes On
Paperback Writer / Rain
Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever
Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus
I Want To Hold Your Hand / I Saw Her Standing There '59 label
Help! / I'm Down '64 lbl
Magical Mystery Tour
Rock And Roll Music 70's "target" logo Capitol (different track set up)
Yesterday and Today