Quarrymen Two: Rock'n'Roll
©Rhythm And Blues Records 2010
RELEASE DATE - JANUARY 2010
Beatles Beginnings is a series of CDs which analyses the songs and styles that inspired the music of the Beatles. Quarrymen Two looks at the band’s Rock’n’Roll influences, whereas Quarrymen One investigates skiffle and the other music that the individual members of the group grew up listening to before Rock’n’Roll burst on to the scene.
Jazz, Rock’n’Roll, blues, music hall, guitar instrumentals, tin pan alley, rockabilly, dance band, soul, bolero, skiffle, trad, R&B, country, old-time, Broadway, doo-wop, folk, high school pop, Motown - the Beatles early influences are so wide-ranging that this series of discs could quite easily pass for an introduction to the history of twentieth century popular music.
For the first six years of their career, the Beatles were essentially a covers band. When they were captured live on tape at the Star Club in Hamburg on December 31st 1962, they played thirty-two songs in two sets, only two of which were their own compositions. Between 1957 and 1963, it is estimated that they established a repertoire of over 600 songs for their live set, enabling them to perform in many different settings – jazz clubs, strip clubs, folk clubs, working men’s clubs, church dances, Rock’n’Roll joints. Music had to be tailored to the occasion and the Beatles’ great enthusiasm for popular music of all forms enabled them to do this.
The popular mythology behind how they managed to hear all the great obscure records coming out of the USA relies on the fact that Liverpool was a major port and suggests that sailors were constantly bringing suitcases full of discs home with them from trips to America. In fact there is very little evidence for this to be the case. The idea that the teenage Beatles would hang around the docks waiting to meet up with stray sailors clutching handfuls of shellac records sounds rather amusing but is highly implausible. Most of the songs the Beatles learned were released in the UK and from 1957 on, they were avidly following the weekly music charts, keeping up to date with everything that was coming out.
All tracks have been carefully remastered to optimise the sound. An extensively illustrated 36 page booklet features detailed sleeve notes from compilers Nick Duckett and Simon Wright, including a track-by-track commentary and an essay explaining the significance of each song to the band.