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The Beatles' Decca Audition Tape Uncovered

26 Nov 2012

The tape made by the Beatles for their 1962 Decca audition has been unearthed, 50 years after it was rejected by the label. In this now famous meeting, a record executive decided that there was no future for the band, and indeed for guitar groups in general. Just months later, the Beatles made music history after signing with George Martin at EMI.

'Brian had already been to every other record company on the country, including not only Decca, whose Dick Rowe famously turned them down, but also EMI itself - twice. Brian thought he had already plumbed the depths and didn't have any further to go. When Syd Coleman told him I was known as the comedians' producer, Brian realised he had hit rock bottom. '
- George Martin, PLAYBACK.

The rejected tape features 10 cover songs and three original Beatles tracks, selected by Brian Epstein for the Decca audition. The sound quality of this unreleased material is said to be pristine, and a Polaroid of the band (with original drummer Pete Best) and a handwritten note were attached. The tape was passed on to Capitol records and then sold into a private collection. It is being auctioned by the Fame Bureau on November 27th, with a pre-sale estimate of £30,000.

Above: George Martin and the Beatles, taken from the sold-out PLAYBACK. George shares more stories about recording with the Beatles in SUMMER OF LOVE, available to buy here.

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