Ignored Obscured Restored
Let’s start the New Year with a post that features music by my all-time favorite band, The Beatles; but with a twist. This one presents “songs that the Beatles gave away.” In other words, it includes songs written by one of them but never officially released by the group. Instead, it was recorded and released by another artist.
Being democratic, I’ll highlight one song (primarily) written by each of the Beatles’ songwriters. Sorry, Ringo!
“Bad to Me” was written by John Lennon and recorded by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas.
The song is very typical of the early Beatle style – a “love song” with a simple, catchy melody. It reached #1 in the UK in 1963 and #9 in the US in 1964, after the Beatles reached our shores.
Here’s Lennon’s demo.
Paul McCartney wrote “Goodbye” for Mary Hopkin as a follow-up to her #2 cabaret hit “Those Were the Days” (1968).
“Goodbye” has another prototypical McCartney melody. It skips along like schoolgirls in the playground on a sunny day. McCartney, himself, played most of the instruments on the recording. It reached #13 in the US in 1969.
Hopkin was one of the first acts signed to the Beatles’ newly formed Apple Records.
Now listen to McCartney’s demo.
Although much less prolific than Lennon/McCartney, George Harrison also wrote a few compositions he was willing to share with other artists. He gave “Sour Milk Sea” (1968) — written on the Beatles’ famous trip to Rishikesh, India — to Jackie Lomax, another Apple Records signee.
“Sour Milk Sea” is more obscure but is a pretty good rocker. It didn’t chart despite featuring musical accompaniment from Harrison, McCartney, and Starr.
Now Harrison’s demo.
You probably can remember and name a few other “songs the Beatles gave away”, including Peter & Gordon’s “A World Without Love” and “Come and Get It” by Badfinger. But there are quite a few more. Check out this Wikipedia page for a more comprehensive list:
Enjoy… until next week.