The Beatles – The Long & Winding Road

To finish off the month, I have put together a special Beatles What-If project. Being in lockdown allowed my imagination to wander somewhat, but I do hope that you enjoy this alternative history project of what The Beatles Anthology albums could have been.

The Long & Winding Road Vol.1

In 1995, The Beatles released their Anthology project that consisted of a TV series, albums, and a coffee table book. They had also thrown open the doors on the archives to allow unreleased studio recordings to be officially heard for the first time. The project had been running from 1970 when Neil Aspinall, future head of the Apple Company, put together a compilation of archival footage that he called The Long & Winding Road. The film was ready by 1971, but as relations between the band members were not as good as they could have been, they were not involved in the project. This film itself became a part of the archive but permission was given to use some of the footage so that Eric Idle could complete his Rutles project. The project was resurrected in 1980 when John Lennon said that he would be getting back together with the other Beatles for a reunion concert and that it would be used as the end of the Long & Winding Road film. Tragically, Lennon was killed before this could happen. 

Up to this point, Beatles fans had been poorly served by archival material being released. Between 1970, when the band split up, and 1995 when the Anthology project saw the light of day, there were a couple of live albums.  The Live at the Hollywood Bowl and Live! at the Star-Club In Hamburg, Germany albums, both from 1977. In 1980, EMI had asked house engineer John Barrett to listen to and catalogue The Beatles session tapes whilst he recovered from cancer treatment. This led to a multi-media event called ‘The Beatles at Abbey Road’, which included some unreleased material being heard for the first time since they had been recorded. All of the surviving Beatles attended the event and Harrison said that he was happy for his solo take of While My Guitar Gently Weeps to be released. EMI prepared an album called Sessions, but The Beatles undertook legal proceedings to prevent it coming out. All of the songs that were put forward for the Sessions album would be released on the Anthology albums. 

These albums contained material that had not been released before and this took the form of some live cuts, TV appearances, demos and alternative mixes of previously released songs. What these albums showed was that there was little in the way of songs that were not used anywhere else. Most of these songs came from the early days of the band and their recordings before signing with EMI in 1962. What was also missing were any curiosities that had come out down the years, and are little known outside of the most dedicated Beatles fans.  

What if the project had been released in 1980 as planned, but instead of what we got in 1995, these records were made up of some of the aforementioned curiosities, some unreleased mixes and demos. I have seen this as a continuation of my Collection of Beatles Oldies LPs, so as these would still be readily available in this alternative timeline, none of the songs included on those collections are included here.  These albums would be released three single LPs and would have a cover photo close to the period when the music was recorded.  That is why Pete Best is included on the sleeve for Vol.1 as Ringo Starr does not play on many of the songs on that record. All of the sleeves are based on the U.S. version of the Rarities album that was released in 1980. 

I have tried to show where these songs can be found as a number of them have been released officially down the years, but some are still in the archive (or on bootlegs, if you know where to look). There is a gap in these collection between 1963 and 1966, mostly down to the fact that the best archival recordings from that period had already been used on the first Collections of Beatles Oldies LP. I would hope that The Beatles in this timeline would see fit not to double up on material to give their fans the best value for money compilations they could. 

Side A

  1. That’ll Be The Day – The Quarrymen – Demo
  2. In Spite Of All Danger – The Quarrymen – Demo
  3. Hallelujah, I Love Her So – Home Demo
  4. You’ll Be Mine Home – Demo
  5. Cayenne – Home Demo
  6. My Bonnie – With Tony Sheridan
  7. Ain’t She Sweet – With Tony Sheridan
  8. Cry For A Shadow – With Tony Sheridan
  9. ‘Till There Was You – Decca Demo
  10. Like Dreamers Do – Decca Demo

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 would be released on the Anthology 1 album (1995).

Track 6 was originally released as a single, but the band was credited as The Beat Brothers (1961)

Track 7 was originally released as a single (1964) 

Track 8 was originally released on the ‘Mister Twist’ EP (1962)

Track 9 is currently unreleased. 

Track 10 would be released on the Anthology 1 album (1995).

Side B

  1. Take Good Care Of My Baby – Decca Demo
  2. The Sheik Of Araby – Decca Demo
  3. Love Of The Love – Decca Demo
  4. Crying, Waiting, Hopping – Decca Demo
  5. Three Cool Cats – Decca Demo
  6. Hello Little Girl – Decca Demo
  7. Besame Mucho – EMI Demo (Pete Best on Drums)
  8. Love Me Do – EMI Demo (Pete Best on Drums)
  9. Please Please Me – Andy White on Drums
  10. Bad To Me – Home Demo
  11. I’m In Love – Home Demo

Tracks 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 would be released on the Anthology 1 album (1995).

Tracks 1, 3 & 4 are currently unreleased. 

Tracks 10 & 11 would be released on the The Beatles Bootleg Recordings (2013)

The Long & Winding Road Vol.2

Side A

  1. A Beginning (Take 4)/Don’t Pass me By (Take 7) – Studio Recording
  2. Child Of Nature – Esher Demo
  3. Step Inside Love – Studio Jam
  4. Los Paranoias – Studio Jam
  5. Circles – Esher Demo
  6. Junk – Esher Demo
  7. Can You Take Me Back (Take 1) – Studio Recording

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 8 would be released on the ‘The Beatles – 50th Anniversary Box Set’.

Track 7 would be released on the Anthology 3 album.

Side B

  1. It’s All Too Much – Full Length Version
  2. What’s The New Mary Jane – Studio Outtake
  3. The Inner Light – Stereo Mix
  4. Tomorrow Never Knows – Matrix XEX 606-1 – Mono
  5. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) – U.S. 8-Track Stereo Mix
  6. Inner Grove Sgt Pepper’s

Track 1 is currently unreleased.

Track 2 would be released on Anthology 3 (1996).

Track 3 would be released on The Beatles EP Collection (1981)

Track 4 was released on the first pressing of the Revolver LP. When ‘Revolver’ was initially mixed, a different master for ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ was sent off to be pressed. The mix is known as Remix 11. Although subtle, it is different to the standard Remix 8 which was ultimately to replace it. The story goes that each group member was given the first copies from the production line and John Lennon went off to listen to it. But, it turned out that he was unhappy with the mix or that the wrong one had been used and he informed George Martin. Production was then stopped as the new masters were cut and the pressing plates were replaced. First pressings have XEX 606-1 whereas the standard press has XEX 606-2 and beyond (www.thebeatles-collection.com). This version has not been made available since. 

Track 5 was released on the 8-Track version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band (1967) The 8 track edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band features a longer edit of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise), created to fill more of the tape and “even out” the recording sides. At about 1:15, where Paul’s “Woo!” is heard, the previous 15 seconds are replayed and that “Woo!” is heard again before the song completes (www.aboutthebeatles.com).

Track 6 was released on the initial UK pressing of the Sgt Pepper album (1967). Later pressings, especially in the USA did not include this track. 

The Long & Winding Road Vol.3

Side A

  1. Come Together – Brazilian Mono Mix
  2. Teddy Boy – Get Back – 1st Version
  3. Dig It – Get Back – 1st Version
  4. Something – Inc. Coda Jam
  5. The Ballad Of John & Yoko – NZ Censored Edition

Track 1 was released in Brazil (1970). Both Abbey Road and Let it Be were released in Mono in Brazil. They were not dedicated Mono mixes though, but a fold down of the Stereo one.

Tracks 2, 3, & 4 are currently unreleased. Tracks 2 & 3 were the original versions of songs that would be released later as the Let It Be album. Track 4 includes an extended piano jam that an was exorcised from the final version. 

Track 5 was made specifically for New Zealand radio with references to Christ edited out. This version has not been made commercially available. 

Side B

  1. Come & Get It – Studio Demo
  2. Old Brown Shoe – Australian Mono Single Mix
  3. Don’t Let Me Down – Get Back – 1st Version
  4. Watching Rainbows (Edit) – Demo
  5. All Things Must Pass – Studio Demo
  6. Goodbye – Home Demo
  7. Get Back (Coda) – Get Back – 1st Version

Tracks 1 & 6 would be released on Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (2019)

Track 2 was released in Australia (1969). It is not a dedicated Mono mix, but is a fold down of the Stereo. 

Tracks 3, 4 & 7 are currently unreleased. Tracks 3 & 7 were versions of songs that would be released later as the Let It Be album. Track 4 is a songwriting jam from the Let It Be sessions.

Track 5 would be released on Anthology 3 (1996).

A Spotify playlist could not be created for these collections due to the amount of songs that have still not been officially released. 

The Beatles – The Collection Vol.2

Here is the second volume of The Beatles Collection I put together. Disc 1 uses songs that were recorded around the time of the ‘White Album’, using some demos, singles and outtakes to create a one CD version. It would seem that my choices were pretty consistent as only one song that was used on the A Doll’s House post did not make the cut here, and that would be Savoy Truffle (http://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/the-beatles-a-dolls-house/). There are lot more George Harrison songs on this compilation, showing the improvement he had made as a songwriter at this time. What these discs show; if proof were needed, is just how prolific they were at that time. 

The Beatles are one of the few bands where I feel they improved with age. The songs got better as they went along, and when I pull out one of their records to play, they tend to be from Revolver onwards. Rarely do I go for one of the earlier LPs. The songs are still good but as a cohesive whole, those earlier records just don’t cut it for me. That is most probably why the early material covers one CD whereas the songs from Revolver onwards cover three. Each to their own I suppose. Not using any covers most probably helped though. 

Disc 2 covers the sessions for Let It Be and Abbey Road. I was quite surprised when going back over this, how many of the mixes from Let It Be…Naked I used. I would have felt that the original Phil Spector produced versions would have been ingrained into my brain that I would have gone with those regardless. The whole of Side 2 of Abbey Road was used (except for Her Majesty) as this was a perfect way of completing this compilation. 

Disc 1

  1. Back In The USSR
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Glass Onion
  4. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
  5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  6. Happiness Is Warm Gun
  7. Martha My Dear
  8. Lady Madonna
  9. Hey Bulldog
  10. I’m So Tired
  11. Blackbird
  12. Piggies
  13. Mother Nature’s Son
  14. Not Guilty
  15. Yer Blues
  16. Julia
  17. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me & My Monkey
  18. Sexy Sadie
  19. Cry Baby Cry
  20. Across The Universe (Wildlife Version)
  21. Revolution 1
  22. Long, Long, Long
  23. Hey Jude
  24. Junk (Demo)

Disc 2

  1. One After 909
  2. Two Of Us
  3. Come Together
  4. Something
  5. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
  6. Oh! Darling
  7. Get Back
  8. I’ve Got A Feeling
  9. Revolution
  10. Don’t Let Me Down
  11. All Things Must Pass (Demo)
  12. Let It Be
  13. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  14. Here Comes The Sun
  15. Because
  16. You Never Give Me Your Money
  17. Sun King
  18. Mean Mr. Mustard
  19. Polythene Pam
  20. She Came in Through The Bathroom Window
  21. Golden Slumbers
  22. Carry That Weight
  23. The End

The front cover is taken from the compilation 1967-1970 and shows the band looking down from the stairwell of the now demolished London headquarters of EMI in Manchester House, London. This was a re-creation of the shot used on the 1962-1966 compilation and it was planned to be used on the front cover for their Get Back LP but as that album did not come up, it was repurposed here. 

This was compiled before the release of the deluxe editions, so the Anthology 3 version of Not Guilty was used. The full length version of this song can be used as there would still be enough room to still fit into the playing time of one CD. 

The Squire Presents YouTube Channel

The Beatles – The Collection Vol.1

This month, I will only be posting Beatles specific playlists. Having completed a couple of what-if Beatles compilations over the past few months, I thought it was time to look at some playlists I put together a few years back. So much has been written down the years about the band that nothing I could write here would add anything new, so the notes for this collection will be brief. The Beatles are without doubt one of the most influential bands of all time and they were a band that I spent a lot of my childhood listening to. My father had bought the singles, EP and album collections home when they came out in the early 80s and I played them, a lot. I look forward to each new release, but after the Let It Be anniversary in 2020, what else will be released? Well quite a lot (if you know where to look) but it is whether they can actually agree to release it or not.   

This first volume covers the time period from 1963 to 1967 and it brings into sharp focus how much the music changed within those four years. It is also clear how much the band were influenced by what was around them as they developed their songwriting craft. Genres that come and go are pop, rock n roll, folk rock, folk and psychedelia, and I am sure that I have missed one or two off from this list. 

In this first volume, you may noticed an almost complete lack of George Harrison songs. Only Taxman has made the cut and that is purely down to personal preferences. I used The Beatles in Mono boxed set to compile this compilation because these are the mixes The Beatles approved of. I also decided against using any of the covers that the band performed on their records because Lennon & McCartney were producing classic songs, so there was just enough room to fit their songs onto a standard length CD. There was no need to include any songs they did not write themselves. Maybe I’ll do a covers only album in future. 

Disc 1

  1. I Saw Her Standing There
  2. Please Please Me
  3. There’s A Place
  4. All My Loving
  5. I Won’t Be Long
  6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  7. She Loves You
  8. Can’t Buy Me Love
  9. And I Love Her
  10. If I Fell
  11. A Hard Day’s Night
  12. I Should Have Known Better
  13. Tell Me Why
  14. Things We Said Today
  15. I’ll Be Back
  16. I’m Down
  17. Help!
  18. I’ve Just Seen A Face
  19. Yesterday
  20. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
  21. I’ll Get You
  22. I Feel Fine
  23. Ticket To Ride
  24. Day Tripper
  25. I’m A Loser
  26. Eight Days A Week
  27. Girl
  28. Michelle
  29. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
  30. I’ll Follow The Sun
  31. You Won’t See Me
  32. Every Little Thing
  33. In My Life

Disc 2

  1. Taxman
  2. Drive My Car
  3. We Can Work It Out
  4. Nowhere Man
  5. Paperback Writer
  6. RainHere, There & Everywhere
  7. ForNo One
  8. Got To Get You Into My Life
  9. Good Day Sunshine
  10. And Your Bird Can Sing
  11. I’m Only Sleeping
  12. Elanor Rigby
  13. She Said She Said
  14. Strawberry Fields Forever
  15. Penny Lane
  16. All You Need Is Love
  17. I Am The Walrus
  18. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  19. Getter Better
  20. Fixing A Hole
  21. She’s Leaving Home
  22. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
  23. Lovely Rita
  24. Good Morning Good Morning
  25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  26. A Day In The Life

The front cover is taken from the compilation 1962-1966 and shows the band looking down from the stairwell in the now demolished London headquarters of EMI in Manchester House, London. Images form this photo shoot would also be used for the covers of the bands debut LP (Please, Please Me) and their 1963 EP, No. 1. 

Spotify does not have the Mono mixes on its platform, so I had to compile this using the Stereo versions instead. Damn you Spotify. 

The Squire Presents YouTube Channel