Two-CD released by Time Life
The earliest, 50-year-old recordings of the Beatles, whose commercial career continues apace four decades after their breakup, will get a deluxe two-CD release by Time Life on Nov. 8.“The Beatles With Tony Sheridan: First Recordings” will compile tracks cut by the quartet, with Pete Best on drums, in Hamburg for Polydor exec Bert Kaempfert in 1961-62. On many of the numbers, the band backed singer Sheridan, who performed on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn as the Liverpool act was developing its chops there. The Beatles’ numbers include “Ain’t She Sweet,” with lead vocals by John Lennon, and the George Harrison-penned instrumental “Cry For a Shadow.” Elaborate Time Life package, which will include vintage photos by Astrid Kirchherr and other period ephemera, arrives as the Fab Four’s music blows up once again on the charts. Sales of the Beatles’ classic EMI/Apple catalog skyrocketed late last year after iTunes sealed an exclusive pact to sell the group’s tracks digitally. In early September, their hits compilation “1” debuted at No. 4 on the U.S. album chart; collection has racked up another 126,000 units in just three weeks in CD and digital track equivalent form.