A Deccagone mystery

Michael Gerber
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The Fabs, looking nothing like they did during the Decca audition

Reader Craig Fenton wrote in today with the following interesting question:

“When the Beatles’ Deccagone Sessions are talked about [in historical sources], there are those that state the exact order they performed are as follows 1-15:
“Like Dreamers Do” (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
“Money (That’s What I Want)” (Gordy/Bradford) (unreleased version)
“Till There Was You” (Meredith Willson) (unreleased version)
“The Sheik of Araby” (Smith/Wheeler/Snyder)
“To Know Her Is to Love Her” (Phil Spector) (unreleased version)
“Take Good Care of My Baby” (King/Goffin) (unreleased)
“Memphis, Tennessee” (Chuck Berry) (unreleased version)
“Sure to Fall (In Love with You)” (Cantrell/Claunch/Perkins) (unreleased version)
“Hello Little Girl” (Lennon/McCartney)
“Three Cool Cats” (Leiber/Stoller)
“Crying, Waiting, Hoping” (Buddy Holly) (unreleased version)
“Love of the Loved” (Lennon/McCartney) (unreleased)
“September in the Rain” (Warren/Dubin) (unreleased)
“Bésame Mucho” (Consuelo Velázquez) (unreleased version)
“Searchin'” (Leiber/Stoller)
However when you listen to or read about any unauthorized recording the tunes are never constructed that way. Best example is “Sheik of Araby” is found as track 14.

Which is correct? The list on top or what the bootlegs give us? If the list I included is proper why on earth would any bootleg or article not have the proper running order? The same fifteen songs are being offered. Since every boot uses the different track order it makes the mystery that much deeper.”

I wrote back saying that if the tracks had trickled out piecemeal (one or two as inclusions in, say, “File Under: Beatles”) perhaps that created a tracklisting that was then copied? But Craig said they were all released as a set.

Any thoughts, Beatle hive-mind?

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  1. Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

    My experience with bootleggers is that they hardly ever stick to the ‘truth’. Sequencing is almost always hard to understand and musically uninteresting.
    I am not sure why Beatle-fans are looking for truths, what has that to do with the music? My fascination with the truth is related to creative processes. How did they create and produce their art? The audition tapes/recording have hardly artistic value, it was below par, and they don’t match the Hamburg stuff we have heard. What am I missing here?

  2. Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

    Bootlegs are all over the place when it comes to running order and anything else — I recall the “Wings Over Switzerland” CD set I encountered that had entirely wrong titles on the discs [https://www.heydullblog.com/paul-mccartney/wings-over-an-alternate-universe/]. If authors published by reputable presses differ with what the bootleg says, I’d never go with the bootleg.

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