Seven years after the Beatles' breakup, the band's 1964 and 1965 shows at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles became the subject of Capitol's 1977 release Live at the Hollywood Bowl. But prior to 1977, the shows were being heard on various bootlegs -- and in the 1980s and 1990s, bootleggers continued to offer different combinations of the Beatles' Hollywood Bowl performances. The thing that makes this two-CD bootleg of 1997 special is its comprehensiveness -- the illicit Repro Man label provides unedited stereo recordings of the Beatles' appearances at the Bowl on August 23, 1964 and August 29-30, 1965. The performances and sound quality are generally excellent (although there are a few rough spots here and there), and Repro-Man offers attractive artwork as well as informative liner notes. Throughout the three concerts, the deafening screams of teenage girls never let up -- some will find all that screaming overwhelming, but one could argue that the screaming is an asset in that it adds to the ambience. Indeed, the screams that accompany performances of classics like "Help," "Ticket to Ride," "A Hard Day's Night," "I Feel Fine," "Can't Buy Me Love," and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" really underscore the hysteria that characterized Beatlemania in 1964 and 1965. As an added bonus, Repro-Man provides a 14-minute radio interview with John Lennon and Ringo Starr on August 23, 1964, and a 17-minute press conference with all four Beatles on August 29, 1965. If you're a hardcore Beatles fan and are able to track down a copy of this bootleg, grab it immediately.
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