entire show, Hard-to-find

“We love distortion!”

So sayeth John Lennon. I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything Beatles-related at all until now. This post more than makes up for it. The music contained herein is cracking. What makes it all the more amazing is that this recording is of a radio show and is over 40 years old. It’s amazing to think these recordings exist, let alone in good quality. God knows who originally recorded it, or how they recorded it, but somehow they did, and thanks to the wonders of the internet, it’s all here. First though, the history part.


In 1963, as a live phenomenon, The Beatles were at the top of their game. Their years of playing extended sets in Hamburg had taught them how to handle a crowd. Their own fantastic songwriting talent was emerging and many of these songs were yet to be committed to vinyl. In a couple of years time they would be a spent force on the live stage. Limitations in their equipment couldn’t match the increasingly bigger venues the band were playing. This show was recorded for Swedish Radio at Karplan Studios in Stockholm on October 24th 1963. It captures the Beatles playing their early 60s set, drawing on a mixture of originals and covers. From Paul’s “2, 3, 4″ count-in onwards, this set sounds like proto-punk. The playing is spot-on. The vocal harmonies are tight and Ringo’s backeat holds it all together. There’s a John one (From Me To You), a Paul one (I Saw Her Standing There), a George one (Roll Over Beethoven), a fast one (Money), a slow one (You Really Got A Hold On Me) and all the big hits (She Loves You, Twist & Shout). And it’s all in crystal clear high fidelity mp3 (!)

 Hans Westman was the studio engineer for Swedish radio. “The worst recordings I’ve ever made,” he said. “Totally chaotic. No time for rehearsals.” The studio wasn’t best equipped for recording a ‘beat group’ and there were problems overcoming the UK plugs on the Vox amps. But once sorted, The Beatles simply plugged in and played. Westman couldn’t apologise enough for his poor sound, but Lennon loved this recording. “We love distortion!“ Not long before he died in1980 he said that these were the best live recordings The Beatles ever made.  And who can argue?

1. Introduction
2. I Saw Her Standing There
3. From Me To You
4. Money
5. Roll Over Beethoven
6. You Really Got A Hold On Me
7. She Loves You
8. Twist And Shout

You need this. It’s brilliant. The entire show is available here as a zip file., from me to you (arf).


(Above)  back cover art (right-click and save)

(Below)Hans Westman’s original tape reel, signed by the fab four.


7 thoughts on ““We love distortion!””

  1. This is hilariously great! I grew up with the Beatles, and with Sgt Pepper’s especially. What a neat find, to come across the 4-track master tapes in digital! Way, way cool. Thanks!

  2. Just a correction: the studio is located at “Karlaplan”, hence “Karlaplansstudion” in Swedish or “Karlaplan Studios” in English. It’s in Stockholm, of course, but they actually played a few small towns around Sweden on the same tour.

    I’ve had this recording on cassette for ages – the Swedish Radio archive is a goldmine and ever so often they air the nuggets. An early Cream concert with Clapton playing wonderfully out of tune is another one of my favourites.

  3. I’ve been shamlessly plundering your archives (oo-err) since I finally got caught up on this wondrous place. (About 2 Sundays ago ;-))

    (Rockin Rik’s parties… good for what ails ya!)

    Resisted posting till I listened to this.

    If there’s a swear-filter on here then these are very exciting recordings indeed.

    If there isn’t – this is the best fuckin musical experience I’ve had online since logging-on about 10 years ago (arse bastard pants)

    Thank you 🙂

  4. Cant get it.

    “This user does not have sharing enabled. Please contact them directly for file access.”

  5. Never mind!

    Apparently I’ve already downloaded it twice. Just call me a newless cluebie.

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