The Lost Beatles Albums Vol.2 – Have You Heard The Word (1971)

Here is the second part of an alternative history where The Beatles did not break up in 1970. Not wanting to repeat the mistake of the ‘White Album’ by going back to recording too soon after releasing a double album, The Beatles decide to take a break from recording and recharge their batteries, spend some time with their respective families and work on some new material. It is agreed that they will meet up again in June.  However, these plans need to be changed earlier than expected due to the fact that some of the outtakes from the ‘Imagine’ sessions have been released as a bootleg. The record is called ‘Imagination’ and contains rough mixes of ten songs that had not been officially released. 

Imagination Bootleg

The font cover of the Imagination bootleg

Side A

  1. What Is Life
  2. I Found Out 
  3. Isn’t It A Pity (Version One)
  4. God
  5. Art Of Dying

Side B

  1. How?
  2. Gimme Some Truth
  3. Isolation
  4. Crippled Inside
  5. Long Haired Lady

No one is sure how these rough mixes made it out of the studio but suspicion falls on Ringo Starr who has been known to give friends such as Peter Sellers tapes of Beatles songs in the past. However, the band are in no mood to let the bootleggers make money off of their product so meet in the spring, listen back to the tapes and come up with another record to release as soon as possible. What the ‘Imagination’ bootleg shows is the dearth of McCartney material that was recorded due to the writers block that he had been suffering from at the start of the sessions. Since then, he had been writing constantly and says that if they use some of these newly minted tracks, they will have enough material for another double album judging by the quality of songs Harrison and Lennon left in the can. This would mean the fans that bought the bootleg would be happy as they will have more new material and won’t feel cheated for buying the same songs twice. The album could be ready by the end of the summer and there is enough quality material for a couple of singles to boot. 

When Starr says that having a second double album out after such a short space of time might rip off or at least annoy some fans, Lennon says ”It doesn’t seem to have hurt that band Chicago” and the matter is dropped. For an album that is mostly made up of outtakes from sessions to the ‘Imagine’ album, Lennon jokes that they should call it ‘Scraping the Barrel’. Feeling that this will be a bit close to the bone, it is agreed that the title should be called ‘Have You Heard The Word’.

Phil Spector is brought back in to oversee the mixing of the old material and the production of the new songs. The band agree that as he was the producer on the ‘Imagine’ album, the sound needs to be constant throughout. The first single release comes out in March and is Lennon’s ‘It’s So Hard’ backed with Harrison’s ‘Let it Down’. Neither of these songs were on the ‘Imagination’ bootleg and the single is eagerly snapped up by fans, sending it into the top ten the world over and the press is informed that the parent album will be released in June. The band work feverishly to finish off McCartney’s songs as well as work on Starr’s ‘Coochy Coochy’ before the deadline. 

Harrison has the busiest schedule of any of the band and once the sessions are over, he goes off to work with Badfinger on their album ‘Straight Up’. Taking a break from Badfinger just as ‘Have You Heard The Word’ hits the shelves, he starts doing some production for his friend and legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar and the soundtrack for the documentary film, ‘Raga’. It was during work on this album that Shankar tells Harrison about the humanitarian crisis caused by the Bangladesh Liberation War. Shankar wants to put on a charity concert in the hope of raising $25,000 for the cause. Harrison believes that with his involvement, and the possibility that he can convince the other Beatles to perform live at the concert, the amount of money that can be raised would be significantly higher. 

Calling Badfinger to say he cannot commit to finishing their album, Harrison contacts the other Beatles about the concert. Even though there is a reluctance to play live (due to amount of time it has been since they have played in front of a paying audience), they agree with the feeling being that they missed out on the late 60s festivals such as Woodstock and Monterrey, and don’t want to miss out here. Harrison then opens up his address book and manages to secure the likes of Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, the whole of Badfinger and the Hollywood Horns. With the concert booked for 1 August, The Beatles arrive in Los Angeles for rehearsals. Harrison has also written a song that he calls ‘Bangla Desh’ and it is recorded at the beginning of July for release before the concert. When news gets out that The Beatles will be performing at the Madison Square Garden venue in New York, demand for tickets is high and the event sells out so quickly that an afternoon show is arranged to maximise receipts as well as to satisfy demand. However, due to the short notice of the concert, Harrison is not able to organise more dates due to Madison Square Garden being fully booked before and afterwards. 

The single comes out two days before the concert and is another huge hit all over the world. The concerts raise $243,000 and Harrison retreats back into the studio to mix the concert tapes for a potential release in time for the Christmas market, feeling that if it was left any later, people would forget about the humanitarian crisis and it will not make as much money as he hopes. 

After the Concert for Bangladesh, Lennon decides he is going to stay in New York. He wants some time to focus on not being a Beatle in a city he feels comfortable walking around without the hassle he would receive back in the UK. He has also started to become more involved in radical left wing politics and he starts to focus on collaborating with Ono. This leads to the ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ single which the couple decide to release it under their own name. Unfortunately, he is in competition with himself because Apple Records have another ‘Imagine’ outtake on the singles release schedule with his ‘Gimmie Some Truth’. 

Lennon says that the message of his Christmas record resonates with the feelings generated by the Bangladesh Concert and says a portion of the profits should go to that charity. Both Lennon’s single and The Beatles release break the UK top ten, but are kept off of the top spot by Benny Hill and his ‘Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)’ novelty single. The live album of the Bangladesh Concert means that at the end of 1971, there is a lot of Beatles related product on the market. However, all of the band members enjoyed playing live together. This is put down to the fact that the audience is older and, therefore, there was not the screaming that was a constant at concerts during the height of Beatlemania. However, it is not only the press who are wondering if this is a one off or will they do more live performances in future. 

Side A

  1. What Is Life – All Things Must Pass
  2. Crippled Insid – Imagine
  3. Monkberry Moon Delight – Ram
  4. Behind That Locked Door – All Things Must Pass
  5. Isolation – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
  6. Eat At Home – Ram

Side B

  1. Art Of Dying – All Things Must Pass
  2. I Found Out – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
  3. Coochy Coochy – Single B-Side
  4. Long Haired Lady – Ram
  5. The Lovely Linda (Mono) – McCartney

Side C

  1. Apple Scruffs – All Things Must Pass
  2. Oo You – McCartney
  3. Well Well Well – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
  4. I Dig Love – All Things Must Pass
  5. God – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

Side D

  1. If Not For You – All Things Must Pass
  2. How? – Imagine
  3. Run Of The Mill – All Things Must Pass
  4. Hear Me Lord – All Things Must Pass
  5. The Back Seat Of My Car – Ram


  1. It’s So Hard – Imagine
  2. Let It Down – All Things Must Pass
  1. Bangla Desh – Single A-Side
  2. Isn’t A Pity (Version 1) – All Things Must Pass
  1. Gimmie Some Truth – Imagine
  2. Man We Was Lonely – McCartney

What surprised me when I was listening to The Beatles solo albums once more, is how much great material was recorded for those early solo albums, that was not used on ‘Imagine’. I did not expect to be able to make another record, let alone another double with singles. They were releasing so many good records that there was even room for me to have Lennon have a solo release with ‘Merry Xmas (War is Over)’. What was most surprising to me when putting these first two albums together was the solo output of Paul McCartney between 1970 and 71. He released three albums where the quality of music on the grooves was varied. If a bit more quality control had been in place, there was enough material for one stellar album. A What-If project for the future methinks. The records of Lennon and Harrison during the same period are stone cold classics. Starr released his own classic single with ‘It Don’t Come Easy’, but I find listening to a Ringo album a bit much as I am not a great fan of his voice. I did debate whether I could use Harrison’s cover of ‘If Not For You’ as the group had not recorded a cover for a while (the bits and pieces on the ‘Let It Be’ album not included). I played with the order of the songs on the fourth disc but whatever I did with the order, it just did not sound right without it. 

Even though this would work as a CD (like the other playlists on the site already), this has been presented as though it was a double album with associated singles placed at the end. For the record, Sides A, B & C are CD 1 and Side D and singles are CD 2. The artwork has been ‘borrowed’ from and was the cover for their own Beatles mash up called Falling Rain. A brilliant use of the front cover of Paul McCartney’s first solo album and I hope that The Reconstructor doesn’t mind its use here. This would be only the second Beatles LP that does not have a picture of the band or at least an image representing them on the cover. The ‘White Album’ being the other one. The ‘Imagination’ front cover was based on ‘The Dream is Over Vol.1’ bootleg.

Various Artists – It’s Christmas

Well, it is that time of year for numerous cards depicting snow scenes, overindulgence and Slade blaring out of the radio. Christmas is a peculiar time as it is unlike any other time of the year because it has its own soundtrack. No other festival has so many songs written about or for it. The trick seems to be that if you can write a song that is played every year, you can pretty much keep yourself going for when your material is all but ignored. Jona Lewie has said as much about his song, Stop the Cavalry. The irony being the Stop the Calvary was not written as a Christmas record, but a protest song.  Anyway, here is my attempt at a top notch Christmas compilation. 

There is nothing particularly obscure here and part from some of the later songs on CD2, these were the records soundtracked my childhood Christmas. There aren’t any recordings from before the  1960’s, and CD 1 stops later in that decade. Almost the whole of the Phil Spector Christmas album is here, as well as a number of Elvis records. CD 2 is the heyday of the 70s and 80s where awesome original Christmas records  were still being written and released. Once we get into the 90s and beyond, the quota of songs goes right down. This just goes to show (in my opinion) how few great Christmas records have been produced since the 1980s. People are still releasing Christmas themed records every year but to me, they pale in comparison to what has been included here. 

There aren’t too many songs I feel missed out on being selected. ‘Feliz Navidad’ by Jose Feliciano would be one, Another would be East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’.  However, like Jona Lewie, this wasn’t written as a Christmas record either and only had a winter themed video as well as jingle bells inserted into it to appeal to the festive market. At least Jona Lewie mentioned Christmas in his song. Well, as the great Noddy Holder would say “It’s Christmas!!!”

Disc 1

  1. White Christmas – Darlene Love
  2. Frosty The Snowman – The Ronettes
  3. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
  4. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
  5. Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
  6. The Bells Of St. Mary – Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans
  7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
  8. Santa, Bring My Baby Back (To Me) – Elvis Presley
  9. Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
  10. Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
  11. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers – The Crystals
  12. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
  13. Winter Wonderland – Darlene Love
  14. The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
  15. Here Comes Santa Claus – Bob B. Soxx & The Blues Jeans
  16. Sleigh Ride – The Ventures
  17. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
  18. Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
  19. Marshmallow World – Darlene Love
  20. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – The Crystals
  21. This Time Of The Year – Brook Benton
  22. I’d Like You For Christmas – Julie London
  23. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – The Crystals
  24. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
  25. What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder
  26. Blue Holiday – The Shirelles
  27. You’re All I Want For Christmas – Brook Benton
  28. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Ronettes
  29. The Christmas Song – Nat ‘King’ Cole
  30. If Everyday Was Like Christmas – Elvis Presley

Disc 2

  1. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  2. River – Joni Mitchell
  3. Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie
  4. Last Christmas – Wham!
  5. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea
  6. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  7. Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard
  8. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
  9. I Believe In Father Christmas – Greg Lake
  10. 2000 Miles – The Pretenders
  11. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
  12. Wombling Merry Christmas – The Wombles
  13. Lonely This Christmas – Mud
  14. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
  15. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
  16. Mele Kalikimaka (Christmas In Hawaii) – KT Tunstall
  17. Warm This Winter – Gabriella Climi
  18. Silent Night – Jewel
  19. The Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie & Bing Crosby
  20. Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty MacCall
  21. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness

The Kinks – The Great Lost Kinks Album (UK Version)

Today sees the release of the 50th Anniversary of their eighth album, ‘Lola Versus Powerman & The Moneygoround, Part One’. With that in mind, I thought it was time I brought out a what-if album but this great British band. 

The band had enjoyed some success in the USA in the mid 60s, but due to a ban on them performing in concerts that  lasted from 1965 to 1969, their popularity waned. It was during this period that Ray Davies moved away from the American infused R&B of the bands earlier records to something a little more English. The lifting of the concert ban in the US was just in time for the release of Lola which would give the band their biggest hit Stateside since ‘Tired of Waiting’ in 1965. Reprise, the record company that had released The Kinks since ‘You Really Got Me’ were no doubt expecting the band to be a good money earner for them from this point on, but this was not to be. That was because in 1971, the band left Pye, their British label for RCA and they also did not renew their American distribution contract with Reprise. Like a good many other labels that have lost a potential cash cow, they decided to delve into the Pye vaults to pick out some songs from the bands late 60s output including music that had not been released in the USA before.

First up was the compilation The Kinks Khronicles, which focused on the band’s 1966-71 output. Considered a classic of the genre, it contained ‘Did You See His Name’ which was completely unreleased beforehand and five other songs which made their US debut on this album. The rest of the songs were made up from singles and albums tracks. It most probably helped that Reprise did not release any old cash grab compilation, but asked music journalist John Mendelsohn to not only supply the sleeve notes but compile the record. Being a fan of the band, Mendelsohn showed a level of care and attention that would be sorely lacking from the majority of Kinks compilations released down the years. 

Reprise decided they were on to a good thing here and Mendelsohn came back to write the sleeve notes for the follow up which was called ‘The Great Lost Kinks’ album. I have not been able to find out what Ray Davies thought about the Kinks Kronicle, but it was clear that he was not happy about the songs on this follow up record. None of the songs had been released before and some would not see the light of day again on any official Kinks releases until 2014. Legal action was taken against Reprise who withdrew the album from sale by 1975 which lead to it being a collectors item. One of the songs was included in the 25th episode of the podcast

Even though this compilation was left as one of the holy grail of Kinks collectors, Pye, did not compile their own version of this album. The aim of this What-If post is to think what Pye would have done if they had compiled their own Great Lost Kinks album for the UK market. Up until the mid-90s, the band’s back catalogue was treated quite badly. Any re-issues of material tended to focus on the hits from the Pye years and little else. This all changed with expanded CD sets of all of the Pye records in 1998, a three disc set of the Village Green Preservation Society in 2004 and then  a set of deluxe editions that were released between 2011-2014. There has even been a 50th set of ‘Village Green’ and ‘Arthur’ containing a number of demos and other hard to find or unreleased material (as well as the just re-released ‘Lola’). 

What all these showed was how much quality material was written and recorded by the band that did not see the light of day at the time. If Pye had raided their archives, there was enough rare or unreleased songs too compile a double album covering the same time period as the Reprise album from 1973. Not everything is top notch, as it does include a couple of studio jams but on the face of it, this would have been a rather good compilation. Would it have seen the light of day if Pye had thought about it in 1973. Unlikely, judging by Ray Davies reaction to the Reprise compilation of the same name. Time has allowed us to see this glimpse into The Kinks achieve and it is a shame that it took so long for their fans to hear the material contained on this record.

I have tried to keep the songs in a rough chronological order from when they were recorded, and also to keep the sides of the LP at roughly the same amount of time. All songs are stereo unless stated otherwise. I have shown where these songs were originally released under the track listing for Side 4. 

Side 1

  1. Where Did My Spring Go (Mono) – 1
  2. Rosemary Rose (Previously Unissued Mix) – 2
  3. Lavender Hill (Mono) – 1
  4. ‘Till Death Do Us Part (Mono) – 1
  5. Misty Waters (Previously Unissued Mx) – 2
  6. Afternoon Tea (Canadian Mono Mix) – 3
  7. Mick Avory’s Underpants – 4

Side 2

  1. Village Green (No Strings Version) – 4
  2. Do You Remember Walter (French, Swedish, Norwegian Stereo Mix) – 5
  3. Spotty Grotty Anna – 4
  4. Berkley Mews (Stereo) – 6
  5. Days (French, Swedish, Norwegian Stereo Mix) – 5
  6. Mr. Songbird (French, Swedish, Norwegian Stereo Mix) – 5
  7. Did You See His Names? (Stereo with Alternative Ending) – 2
  8. People Take Pictures Of Each Other (French, Swedish, Norwegian Stereo Mix) – 5

Side 3

  1. God’s Children (Mono Film Mix) – 7
  2. The Way Love Used To Be #2 (Mono Film Mix) – 10
  3. Dreams (Mono Film Mix) – 8
  4. The Good Life – 7
  5. Easy Come, There You Went (Stereo) – 4
  6. Plastic Man – 9
  7. Australia (Australian Single Mix) – 10
  8. Moments (Mono Film Mix) – 8 

Side 4

  1. The Way Love Used To Be #1 (Mono Film Mix) – 11
  2. The Virgin Soldiers March – 12
  3. Apeman (European Single Mix) – 13
  4. Drivin’ (Alternative Mix) – 12
  5. Soldier’s Coming Home – 12
  6. When I Turn Off The Living Room Light (Mono) – 1
  7. The Way Love Used To Be #3 – 11
  8. Anytime – 7
  9. God’s Children – End (Mono Film Mix) – 7


1 – The Great Lost Kinks Album (1973)

2 – The Kinks Anthology 1964-1971 (2014)

3 – David Watts Single B-Side. Canadian Single Exclusive Mix (1967)

4 – The Village Green Preservation Society – Special Deluxe Edition (2004)

5 – The Village Green Preservation Society – Original European 12 Song Version (1968)

6 – Then, Now & Inbetween (1969)

7 – Lola Versus Powerman & The Moneyground/Percy  – Deluxe Edition (2014)

8 – Percy – Reissue (1998)

9 – Star Parade Mix (1969)

10 – Australian Single A-Side (1969)

11 – Percy (1998 Reissue)

12 – Arthur Or The Decline Of The British Empire  – 50th Anniversary Edition (2019)

13 – European Single A-Side Mix (1970)

The album cover was adapted from sheet music for Lola.

Episode 98 – You Won’t Hear This On The Radio Pt. 1

In the first of two shows with regular guest Darryl Bullock, we take a look at songs that will not be played on the radio and the reasons why. 

  • I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song On The Radio – Monty Python
  • My Pussy Belongs To Daddy – Faye Richmond
  • The Book Mama Gave Me About Sex – Kaye Martin
  • Davy’s Dinghy – Ruth Wallis
  • Triad – The Byrds
  • Killing An Arab – The Cure
  • Big Six – Judge Dread
  • Rufus Is A Tit Man (Alt. Version) – Loudon Wainwright III
  • Why D’ya Do It? – Marianne Faithfull
  • The Heel – Eartha Kitt
  • The Old Dope Peddler (Including Spoken Intro) – Tom Lehrer
  • I Want To Take You Higher – Sly & The Family Stone
  • Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (UK Mono Single Mix) – Bob Dylan
  • The Pusher – Steppenwolf
  • A Day In The Life (Mono Mix) – The Beatles
  • Chinese Bandit I – Hong & Kong
  • The Poor Chinee – George Jones
  • What Made The Red Man Red/Tinknapped – Candy Candido/Jud Conlon Chorus
  • Black Betty (Single Version) – Ram Jam
  • Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered – Ella Fitzgerald
  • Woman Love – Gene Vincent
  • Homer, The Happy Little Homo – Byrd E Bath & The Gentle-Men
  • Erotica – Aguaturbia
  • Erotica – Rita
  • Whiplash – The 101 Strings Orchestra with Bebe Bardon
  • Fluid – Twink
  • Infinity – Aphrodite’s Child
  • Sex Dwarf – Soft Cell