Given the Beatles' popularity, it is no surprise that the world of Beatles bootlegs (unofficially released recordings) has spawned a massive underground following and culture. I have just recently discovered the bootleg series known as A/B Road (thank you, Rob!), which is the largest and most thorough available audio documentation of the January 1969 recording sessions that ultimately produced the album we now know as Let it Be. Despite the official release of the album and film of the same title, this period is ironically both the most misunderstood and most well-documented month of the entire Beatles saga. In an effort to help explain and understand this critical and volatile moment in Beatles history, authors Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt teamed up to write a definitive reference text on these recording sessions, systematically and painstakingly sorting, analyzing, and cataloging every extent snippet of audio (musical and otherwise) available from that month. Their results were published first in 1994 under the title Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image: The Unauthorized Story of the Beatles' Get Back sessions, and then again in 1997 under the title Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster. It is this latter version of the book that I am concerned with.
Despite their thoroughness, Sulpy and Sweighardt's text is incomplete compared to A/B Road . I assume, then, that A/B Road was released after Get Back, and that's why the book does not include all the audio that is found in A/B. In any case, the book and the recordings do match, but only to a certain extent. I have been unable to locate a comparison of the two (i.e. detailing what corresponds to what between the text and the audio) so this blog will be the first in a 20-part series (one blog for each of the twenty days the Beatles spent recording Let it Be) comparing the tracks of A/B Road with the analysis and commentary of Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt's book Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster. I hope that other Beatles fans and scholars will find this useful. (I'd hate to think of anybody bothering to do all this work again!)
Due to formatting concerns, I am including my findings only in PDF format (as opposed to plain text format, such as these very words). So here is part 1 of 20, 1969.01.02, with the A/B tracks listed on the left, and the corresponding Sulpy catalog on the right (which just so happens to be identical for this first day - but certainly won't be identical in the future).
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.