The Beatles Manager Brian Epstein made numerous trips to London to visit record companies with the hope of securing a record contract but was rejected by many.
On 1 January 1962, before they reached international stardom, the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, north London. In what is considered one of the biggest mistakes in music industry history, Decca rejected the band, selecting instead Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. After being available only on “bootleg” recordings, some of the songs recorded for the audition were officially released on the Beatles rarities compilation Anthology 1 in 1995.
The original safety master tape the group recorded at Decca’s London studios was sold by auctioneers the Fame Bureau in December 2012 to a Japanese collector for £35,000. A spokesman for the auctioneers said at the time “The tape went to a Capitol Records executive after the Beatles signed with EMI. He sold it to the current owner who was one of the top buyers for Hard Rock Cafe but it was for his own personal collection.” The authenticity of the tape sold remains debatable among experts, however, as the tape of the audition contains 15 songs. The tape auctioned has only 10 songs and is on Ampex tape which was not in use in 1962. The master tape is believed to be in possession of the Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd.
The order of the songs at the session was:
“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)