The Beatles

A Hard Day's Night (Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!) [Bootleg]

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This new entry in this series of anonymously produced stereo bootlegs of the early Beatles albums is a little less impressive than its predecessors. This may be because the songs -- with some obvious and notable exceptions -- rely more on acoustic than electric instrumental timbres. The material is the strongest body of songs they'd had to work with up to that time, but the softer textures on the instruments make the vocals stand out even more prominently in the stereo mixes that are used. That's not a problem, but it will make the legitimate portion of this disc less compelling to those who like to focus on the playing. On the other hand, the singing is so finely nuanced that it's hardly a waste of time to focus in more tightly on it; and when the electric instruments come into play, as on "You Can't Do That" or the title track, the results are startling. The bonus cuts are a mixed bag of outtakes -- most from existing legitimate sources -- from songs related to the album; this includes four different takes of "A Hard Day's Night," one George Harrison song that was unissued until the release of the first Anthology album, and a Paul McCartney outtake, "One and One Is Two." The quality on these cuts varies according to the sources that were used, from very good to passable.