The Beatles – Live At the Hollywood Bowl (2016)

So pretty much, if you’re not already a fan of The Beatles, then there’s an extremely slim chance you’ll be buying this record, as a live album is pretty much in my eyes a fan-targeted release. Normally I’m not a fan of live albums, I’ll be completely honest. There are exceptions, however I just feel that some moments you can’t recapture when it comes to this type of thing, kinda like how 90 percent of gigs you go to now there’s someone standing in front of you holding their phone in the air the entire time! And not only that; a lot of live material can just be a quick cash-in or something to bang out in between studio albums or quiet patches (or an easy one for the christmas market).

Anyway, that’s my rant over. So yeah, here’s a collection of songs taken from what appears to be 2 separate performances at The Hollywood Bowl (1964 and 1965) in a nicely packaged and put together little bundle, released to coincide with the documentary film that that hasn’t long come out. The constant, piercing fan screaming throughout this record can be very off putting, and I feel makes for an uncomfortable listen here, but it is what it is, as that’s exactly how a Beatles concert was and would have been, so even if you were actually there that would have been an overwhelming thing.

Other than that it’s a decent listen and something nice to add to the collection if you’re already a fan, but not something I would go back and regularly listen to though, I’ll be honest. If a live Beatles album is what you were after and would enjoy, then I won’t deny that this doesn’t do the job however and would be a great addition to anyone that enjoyed the film also.

Track-listing wise, we have an inconsistent mix-up from both performances, so don’t be confused into thinking you are listening to one complete show as it kinda skips into a mixture of the both. I’m not really sure why they’ve chose to present it in such way. All the early classics are here though, which I’m sure need no introduction, including the odd early cover song they used to perform such as “Twist And Shout”, and “Roll Over Beethoven”.

Overall not the most comfortable of listens (that constant screaming and low clarity), and definitely a fan-only thing, although one I’m sure most fans will enjoy regardless. It’s just not the kind of album that I would listen to time and time again, as I would the majority of their studio albums. If I really wanted to enjoy these songs at their full glory I would choose a studio recording rather than seek my enjoyment here of such.