Holy Grail: The record that launched The Beatles

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The ‘Holy Grail’ record that launched The Beatles has gone on display at The Beatles Story today. The unique acetate record was presented to George Martin by Brian Epstein exactly 55 years ago, on February 13th 1962, in a desperate attempt to get the band a recording contract. It features the recording of ‘Hello Little Girl’ on one side and ‘Til There Was You’ on the other.

The acetate features the handwriting of Brian Epstein, who had the disc cut in the Personal Recording Department of the HMV record store on Oxford St in London. It was cut using The Beatles’ Decca audition tapes before being presented to George Martin of EMI. Despite Martin’s initial reticence, the disc eventually led to the breakthrough the band were looking for.

In his book Tune In, leading Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn said of the disc: “Its uniqueness is enhanced by Brian Epstein’s handwriting on the labels, and the recognition of what it led to – making it one of the rarest and most collectible of all Beatles records.”

According to Ian Shirley, Rare Record Price Guide Editor: “This is one of those Holy Grail items like the original Quarrymen acetate that the band recorded themselves. This acetate is a unique item that, in many respects, helped Brian Epstein to start the ball rolling to world domination.” The disc goes on display today (13 Feb) at the award-winning Liverpool attraction and will be available to view for the next three years.

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