The Beatles released a surprise album on iTunes this morning. Titled The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963, the album consists of 59 recordings that the band made during the recording of their first two albums, Please Please Me and With The Beatles.
The album’s release came with very little fanfare or press, which has led some people to speculate the real reason why these recordings were made available. For their part, Rolling Stone speculates that the release could be a way for the band and their label to hold onto the rights of the recordings. European copywright laws state that rights holders can hold on to their work for 70 years if it’s officially released. Artists such as Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys have taken advantage of this law.
The collection contains several studio outtakes of the band’s early years and a healthy collection of outtakes from their BBC radio appearances. An early version of “One After 909” – a song the band later revisited on Let It Be – is included in the set, as are covers of songs like “The Hippy Hippy Shake” that never saw official release in any form before.