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Beatles tape Decca rejected resurfaces, for sale

LONDON -- The Beatles demo tape that record label Decca overlooked — a decision branded the biggest mistake in music history — has resurfaced and is up for auction, newspapers reported Friday.

Recorded on New Year's Day 1961, Decca artists and repertoire man Dick Rowe passed over the Liverpool group and signed The Tremeloes instead. The Beatles went on to sign for EMI and became world stars.

Bootleg copies exist but few have heard the original “pristine” master tape, containing 10 cover versions.

It is being auctioned in London on Tuesday by the Fame Bureau, with an asking price of 30,000 pounds (US$48,000). It does not, however, come with the rights to the tracks.

“Apple, the company set up by The Beatles, holds the copyright to their voices and if anyone tried to release the material without their permission they would certainly be sued,” said Fame Bureau managing director Ted Owen, according to The Times.

“This has never officially been released. It is unique and the sound quality is crystal clear. We have spoken to various experts and this is the best quality recording of this session there is.”

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