March 23, 2008 13:27

Apple sues over Beatles 'bootleg'

Release of Hamburg recordings blocked

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A legal attempt has been made to block the release of early recordings by The Beatles.

Lawyers for the group's surviving members have claimed the eight tracks, apparently played in Hamburg in 1962, were taped without permission.

The songs include Paul McCartney performing 'Lovesick Blues' by Hank Williams, and McCartney and Lennon singing together on 'Ask Me Why'.

The Miami company trying to sell the music, Fuego Entertainment, has insisted the recordings were legal.

The firm's president, Hugo Cancio, told the Associated Press he planned to release the songs as an album entitled 'Jammin' With The Beatles and Friends, Star Club, Hamburg, 1962'.

He said : "It's unfair to millions of Beatles fans not to allow this recording to be put out. The world deserves to hear these tracks."

The Beatles company Apple Corps, said Cancio had no right to distribute them, however.

They claim the music was of poor sound quality and "dilutes and tarnishes" the band's memory.

Apple Corps lawyer Paul LiCalsi said: "This appears to us to be a garden-variety bootleg recording."

However, Cancio said he had not expected to be facing a claim for $15 million (£7.6 million) in damages from Apple Corps .

He told BBC : "I'm surprised because up to a few weeks ago, we were in good-faith conversations with Apple."

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