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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating selection - A mixed bag
Slightly confusing at first but its actually a really good listen. It starts off with Bad Penny Blues from 1956, the record they nicked Lady Madonna off and then theres half a dozen classic skiffle tracks. It follows on with folky blues, a bit of music hall and country and western. The Les Paul track is a revelation as is Ray Charles on My Bonnie. And the lullaby version...
Published on 25 Feb 2010 by Rachel

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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Booklet great, CD trash
The booklet is well written and names the accurate versions the Quarrymen / the young Beatles performed cover versions of.
On the CD, however, too many of these are substituted with insignificant versions.
Their true inspirations - original or cover versions, were on track 8 Lonnie Donegan, track 9 Ramblin' jack Elliott, track 10 Jerry Lee Lewis, track 11...
Published on 7 Dec 2009 by Gille Robert


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating selection - A mixed bag, 25 Feb 2010
This review is from: Beatles Beginnings: Quarrymen 1 (Audio CD)
Slightly confusing at first but its actually a really good listen. It starts off with Bad Penny Blues from 1956, the record they nicked Lady Madonna off and then theres half a dozen classic skiffle tracks. It follows on with folky blues, a bit of music hall and country and western. The Les Paul track is a revelation as is Ray Charles on My Bonnie. And the lullaby version of Golden Slumbers is quite charming. As another reviewer has pointed out, they should have included Lonnie Donegan's Puttin on the Style, but Donegan's version is actually pretty crappy and I would skip it each time I played the CD if it was included here! If youve never heard Marlene Dietrich singing Falling in Love Again, then you need to buy it just for that one track - gorgeous!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the booklet and enjoy the disc too, 9 Jan 2010
This review is from: Beatles Beginnings: Quarrymen 1 (Audio CD)
Compilers note: This is the introductory CD in a 5-disc series. It dedicates itself to investigating not just skiffle but all the other music that the Beatles grew up listening to in their teens before rock'n'roll burst on to the scene. It covers jazz, folk blues, music hall, tin pan alley, country, old-time and Broadway tunes. Quarrymen II looks at the band's rock'n'roll influences. The selection of songs has not been taken lightly and there is a very good reason for each inclusion. With reference to the comments from Gille Robert above, he is correct as regards the Donegan influence on track 8, Puttin' On The Style and they probably also heard Donegan's version of track 11, Midnight Special but just how many Donegan tracks can you reasonably put on a single Beatles-oriented CD compilation?

The boys may well have heard Ramblin' Jack Elliott singing San Francisco Bay Blues but the Jesse Fuller version is the original and is an identical arrangement and superior version. Elvis certainly recorded True Love but the version they would all have known first was Bing Crosby's original, a number 4 hit in the UK charts in November 1956.

Tracks 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 27 are all popular standards which they would have heard on BBC Radio's `light programme' in versions by numerous different popular artists long before they ever heard of Jerry Lee Lewis, Chet Atkins, Chubby Checker or Joe Brown. Versions have been chosen which reflect the wide ranging tastes of the individual members of the group, e.g. Fats Waller from Paul's Dad, Hank Williams from George's Dad etc. Starting with the Quarrymen Rock'n'Roll CD, the other four CDs in the series spotlight the songs the Beatles added to their live set in chronological order. Carl Perkins' version of Matchbox is on II, Gene Vincent's version of Aint She Sweet is on III. OK, so my attempt at irony re track 28 may have been a little off-the-wall. Forgive me if I give it 5 stars!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars booklet great, CD great, 11 Feb 2011
This review is from: Beatles Beginnings: Quarrymen 1 (Audio CD)
All in all this is a very interesting compilation. Even Marlene Dietrich's "Falling In Love Again," they portray, albeit in a more innovative up-tempo arrangement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 2nd of 3, 2 Mar 2013
This review is from: Beatles Beginnings: Quarrymen 1 (Audio CD)
There's been many of these Beatles Influences CDs through the years and this may be the most accurate when it comes to pinpointing the many versions of songs they covered.Each comes with a detailed booklet.
This even includes a version of Golden Slumbers which McCartney learned from a Community Songbook rather than a recording from a collection of lullabies and nursery rhymes
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well thought out collection of songs, 26 Mar 2014
This review is from: Beatles Beginnings: Quarrymen 1 (Audio CD)
This is not a Quarryman album. Please understand that so I don't have to read a review complaining about misrepresentation. This is a collection of songs that were among those that members of that skiffle band - including a kid named John Winston Lennon whose picture is on the cover of this CD - would have heard and learned to play. This CD is the first of a series presenting songs that were popular in the period when the band that became The Beatles were in the process of forming. This, the earliest, contains some genuine skiffle from such as Lonnie Donegan; country and western tracks and - to my shock and probably to most of us - a complete version of Maggie May. And, with the exception of the fragment of that song that appears on one of the last albums made by the group, only one other of these pieces were recorded by the band for release by EMI and its associated labels. 'Matchbox Blues' is performed by Leadbelly on this disc; a far-less-bluesey and far-more-rockabilly version done later by Carl Perkins and later still by Ringo Starr. A number of these songs do show up on other non- EMI/Parlophone/Capitol Beatles LPs and CDs. This includes "Ain't She Sweet" and "My Bonnie," which showed up on ATCO and MGM in the states. There is supposed to be a very poor quality recording of the July 1957 performance by the Quarrymen (after which Paul was introduced to John) which contains "Puttin' on the Style." But, perhaps the most shocking is the last cut on the disc, a short little piece entitled "Golden Slumbers" and attributed to one Thomas Dekker in 1603.

I've yet to check as to whether any of the songs are on the anthology albums; the Star Club set or 'Live at the BBC,' or any of the other scores of bootlegs. It is the case however, that when you hear these older versions that you see the unique brilliance that The Beatles brought to Rock 'n' Roll and pop. It's safe to say that - even with the decidely sparse content available from this period of, say, 1957 to early 1960 - that The Beatles as performers were moving rapidly from being simply a more-than-adeduate covers band to a musical leviathan. This record and subsequent ones are of historic interest only, providing no view into how the band came together and performed. However, it does provide insight into what they were trying to sound like and the enormous breadth of influences that were used to synthesize their sound.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Booklet great, CD trash, 7 Dec 2009
By 
Gille Robert "Robertswede" (Vasteras, Sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beatles Beginnings: Quarrymen 1 (Audio CD)
The booklet is well written and names the accurate versions the Quarrymen / the young Beatles performed cover versions of.
On the CD, however, too many of these are substituted with insignificant versions.
Their true inspirations - original or cover versions, were on track 8 Lonnie Donegan, track 9 Ramblin' jack Elliott, track 10 Jerry Lee Lewis, track 11 Leadbelly, track 15 Duane Eddy or Bing Crosby, 16 own arrangement based on a mix of this version and Gene Vincent and Carl Perkins', track 17 Chet Atkins, track 21 Gene Vincent, track 22 Joe Broiwn, track 23 Chubby Checker, tracks 25-26 Elvis Presley, track 27 either Don Gibson, Tony Orlando, Jerry Lee Lewis and/or Joe Brown.
Track 13 is the song that inspired Carl Perkins' Matchbox, which was the one they played. The last track (28) claimes to be recorded by poet Thomas Dekker, which I find hard to believe, since he died in 1632.
The Quarrymen and early Beatles played mainly straight covers of popular songs at first, and that is what we'd like to hear, to get a glimpse of what they might have sounded like. With this CD it's impossible, and many essential songs are missing. Keep the booklet and trash the disc, it's a waste of money. Let's hope the second CD in this series is better.
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