During their final engagement at the Star Club in Germany in December 1962, after they had released their debut single, "Love Me Do," but before they had achieved their first big hit with their second single "Please Please Me," the Beatles
were recorded by a friend of co-billed Ted "King-size" Taylor
, using a mono tape recorder and a hand-held microphone. The results were very low-fidelity, and despite the Beatles
' enormous success, it took Taylor
15 years to find someone greedy and shameless enough to release them as a record. (If the Beatles
' record company, EMI/Capitol, had really looked into it, they'd have found that the release was illegal, since the Beatles
were under contract to them at the time.) The initial American version was released on Lingasong Records, but the same poor recordings have been reissued endlessly, and this is one of those reissues, containing only half the recordings at that. The wonder here is that anybody at a usually reputable label like CBS/Sony could stoop so low.