The Beatles

The Beatles Conquer America

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There are dozens of live bootlegs from the Beatlemania era, but this one stands out, if you're trying to collect some selectively. Over half of this double LP features their complete performances from the three Ed Sullivan shows they taped in February 1964. These weren't just great, electrifying performances, featuring most of their best early songs, and capturing the group's jubilance at a time when they had yet to tire of live concerts. These were also truly historic events in the history of rock & roll, introducing the best group of the 1960s to the United States, and lighting a musical and cultural fire under much of America's youth. The sound is pretty good (the music is usually clearly more audible than the frenzied screaming), taken directly from the two-inch video tapes onto which the songs were recorded. As significant bonuses, it also includes their fourth and final Ed Sullivan appearance from September 1965, and three songs that were broadcast on Shindig in January 1965. Not easy to find, but worth tracking down.