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The Beatles Rarities (1980)

From The Original Vinyl LP

SHAL – 12060

There probably have been more words written about The Beatles and more discussion of their music than any other musical group in history. Every aspect of their recorded legacy has been dissected, examined and catalogued by collectors, many of whom specialize in studying The Beatles. This has led to The Beatles Rarities album, a compilation of tracks that for one reason or another are considered rare in the United States. Most of these tunes are familiar to Beatles fans, but the versions presented here are not the same versions that are currently available on Capitol or United Artists albums. All of these versions have been released before by Capitol/EMI sometime in the world, but most of them either haven’t ever been released in America or they are no longer available. This album has been designed not only for the discriminating collector, but also for the average fan. Half of the fun of these recordings is comparing them to the “standard” versions. As with any collection of songs, many “rare” possibilities had to be left off for lack of space, but the ones included here were chosen because either collectors have searched for them for years or because musically these versions have something “strange” about them to any listener who is familiar with the more common versions. Enjoy!

Side One:  

1. Love Me Do (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Beechwood Music Corporation/BMI (mono) 2:22 

When the Beatles began recording for EMI, Ringo hadn’t been with the group very long so producer George Martin hired backup drummer Andy White “just in case.” During one of their first sessions they cut this tune twice, once with Ringo drumming and again with the other drummer and Ringo relegated to tambourine. The first version was released on the British single originally (and surfaced occasionally such as on the Canadian single), but when the album came out it contained the take with the tambourine which has become the common version around the world. Over the years the master tapes containing the first version disappeared so this track was taken from a record and cleaned up as much as possible although a few “pops” remain. 


2. Misery (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Gill Music Corp/BMI (Stereo) 1:46

In the early Sixties when The Beatles were becoming stars around the world, their singles and albums were released by several different labels. Albums from one country seldom resembled those from another. This led to several mix-ups over the years. This song, first released in England in March, 1963, was only released by Capitol in the U.S. once – on the very short-lived Starline single (and that was mono).

3. There’s A Place (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Gill Music Corp/BMI (Stereo) 1:47

This song has the same history as “Misery.” This is the first time it has appeared on a Capitol album in the U.S. and it is believed to be the first time it has appeared in stereo in the U.S.


4. Sie Liebt Dich (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Gill Music Corp/BMI (Stereo) 2:16

The Beatles honed their musicianship and became a real group in the opening years of the Sixties by playing in the raunchy clubs of Hamburg, West Germany. They learned to speak the language, met longtime cohorts such as Klaus Voormann and felt a certain affinity with the country. a few years later their career skyrocketed and EMI easily persuaded them to re-cut the vocal tracks of two of their first big hits – “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” – in German for release specifically in that country. Although the first tune has been on the Something New album for years, until Rarities “She Loves You” sung in German had never been released by Capitol in the U.S. The song, once released here as a low-quality single on a small label, has been out of print for years and has never been released in the U.S. in stereo until now.


5. And I Love Her (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI (Stereo) 2:36

There are two common version of this song – one with Paul’s voice mostly by itself and the other with Paul’s voice overdubbed. However, on the German Something New album the song appeared (with the overdubbing) but unedited since the guitar riff at the end of the song is repeated six times rather than four times. That extremely rare version is offered here.


6. Help! (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI (Mono) 2:16

There are two versions, each with a different lead vocal. The single version is more rare than the album version so it has been included here. In addtion, a “cleaner” British version was used.


7. I’m Only Sleeping (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI (Stereo) 2:59

There are two different stereo mixes of this song. The version that has been on the English Revolver album since 1966 is considerably different than the American version. The British version was chosen for Rarities because verses were rearranged and strange guitar sounds inserted.


8. I Am The Walrus (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Comet Music Corp./BMI (Stereo) 4:32

Capitol has created a new version of this song by combining the two rarest version. Previously there were at least three versions. The shortest one is the most common in the U.S. because it appears on the stereo album. The other two versions both have something extra in them. The Capitol U.S. single has a few extra beats in the middle of the song right after the words “I’m crying” but before the words “Yellow matter custard.” The stereo version from England has the intro riff repeated six times instead of four. Now these two oddities have been edited together for the first time. It is interesting to note that on every stereo version of this song ever released the song becomes “fake stereo” almost exactly two minutes into the tune with the bass predominately on one channel and the highs on the other.


Side Two:

1. Penny Lane (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI (Stereo) 3:00

One of the rarest versions of any Beatles song was only released in mono to radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. It was “Penny Lane” with an extra horn riff at the very end of the song which was later trimmed off every version offered for sale. In addition, “Penny Lane” has never been released in the U.S. in true stereo (believe it or not). Capitol has taken a stereo version of the song and tagged on the rare final notes which, collectors might argue, actually creates yet another version of this classic tune.


2. Helter Skelter (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI (Mono) 3:38

Strange as it may seem, The Beatles and George Martin remixed many of their albums for mono rather than simply combining the stereo mix onto one track. Some of the songs have noticeable differences, but the later records such as the “White Album” were released in the U.S. in stereo only. One of the songs from that album, “Helter Skelter,” is changed considerably on the mono version included here. The vocals are much louder, laughing is heard at the beginning, “beeping” sounds are scattered through the song and the drumming at the end is different. When the song fades out at the end, it doesn’t come back like on the stereo version so you don’t hear the classic Lennon statement: “I’ve got blisters on my fingers.”


3. Don’t Pass Me By (Richard Starkey)

Startling Music, Inc./BMI (Stereo) 3:45

Another strange mono mix from the “White Album,” this version is especially different than the stereo toward the end. Note the changes in the violin and vocal sounds. Ringo’s voice also seems to be at a higher pitch than on the stereo version. Although there wasn’t room for them as part of this package, there are other songs off the same mono album with differences, notably “Piggies” and “Blackbird” which both contain “animal” sounds that are somewhat changed.


4. The Inner Light (George Harrison)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI (Mono) 2:32

This song has only been released as the flip side of the “Lady Madonna” single and has never been on any U.S. album. There is no known stereo version of this obscure India-influenced George Harrison tune featuring sitar. The lyrics were “inspired” by a Japanese poem.


5. Across The Universe (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI 3:44

This version has never been released in the U.S. before. This is the original version that was almost released as a single in 1968 (“Lady Madonna” was chosen instead), but ended up being given to an all-star charity album called No One’s Gonna Change Our World which benefited the World Wildlife Fund. Later, when Phil Spector fiddled with hours of rough tapes that became the Let It Be album, he took this song, removed the bird sound effects, added strings and generally changed the sound and feel of it.


6. You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) (J. Lennon – P. McCartney)

Maclen Music, Inc./BMI (Mono) 4:17

This lengthy obscure track has never before been released on a U.S. album; it only appeared as the flip side of the “Let It Be’ single. There is no know stereo version of this off-the-wall ditty which is full of The Beatles special brand of humor. Unlike most of their recordings, this tune resembles the crazy ramblings on their Christmas records which were only released to members of their fan club during the Sixties.


7. Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove (Stereo) .02

Not actually a song, this is merely several seconds of laughing and gibberish that appeard at the tail end of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in other countries, but was never released before in the U.S.


In mid-1966 Capitol Records put together The Beatles Yesterday and Today album using various singles and songs left off earlier albums (common practice in those day). The photo for the album cover was sent from England (where the album wasn’t released). The picture (shown inside) had the group dressed in butcher smocks and holding chunks of bloody meat and decapitated baby dolls. Capitol actually released a number of albums for retail sale with this cover (the amount varies in estimation from 6,000 to 60,000), but public outcry was so negative that some record stores were afraid to stock the album. This led to Capitol scrapping hundreds of thousands of album jackets. The company switched to a different shot of the group in a hotel room with a steamer trunk (see photo inside). This picture was almost used as it appears here, but at the last minute the background was airbrushed to the plain white that has adorned the Yesterday And Today cover ever since. The new picture was pasted over a few of the old “butcher cover” jackets and when word got out many fans tried peeling or steaming the new cover off so they would have one of the original copies. Meanwhile the “butcher cover” became one of the most sought-after prizes for every Beatle collector. So few copies were distributed that many of today’s fans had never even seen the famous and controversial picture which is why it is included in Rarities. When the shot was used on the original cover, it was cropped at knee level. Now for the first time, the entire butcher photo is reproduced.


Compilation and annotation by Randall Davis

Research by Ron Furmanek and Walter Podrazik

Special assistance by Stephen Peeples

Art Direction and Design by Henry E. Marquez and Roy Kohara

Cover/Liner background photography by Rick Wolin-Semple

Special editing by John Palladino and George Irwin


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