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Alternative History

Obscure Beatles Songs

Obscure Beatles SongsGet Back sessions

Obscure Beatles songs are to music fans what ancient relics are to North African archeologists. They’re rare and likely to make whoever owns them a fortune.

Just about everyone has heard The Beatles’ hits. Most casual listeners should know quite a few deep cuts. But what about the songs that didn’t get released, were never finished, or simply exist as Fab Four myths?

Here’s a list of the most obscure songs by the Liverpudlian quartet that is bound to give you an even better appreciation of the Beatles’ discography.

“Carnival of Light”

“Carnival of Light” is arguably the most famous lost Beatles song. It’s also, according to Paul McCartney, the piece that would finally set straight any debates about which of the Fab Four was most driven toward psychedelic experimentation.

“Carnival of Light” could well be the companion piece to “Revolution 9”. But there’s no way to know for sure. Only brief snippets of the 14-minute song have ever seen the light of day. It all adds to the song’s mystique.

This piece of musique concrete was recorded in early 1967 during the sessions for “Penny Lane” and was the brainchild of McCartney. The work was set to be presented during an electronic, psych-driven music festival.

It was played only once, never bootlegged, and should still be safely stored in The Beatles’ vaults.

The only time that it was nearly released was in “Anthology 2.” George Harrison vetoed the release, leaving McCartney to occasionally talk up an official release of this highly obscure avant-garde piece.

“What’s the New Mary Jane”

“What’s the New Mary Jane” is just as mythical among hardcore fans of The Beatles. Unlike “Carnival of Light,” however, it’s been bootlegged extensively and released officially on “Anthology 3” back in 1996.

While it’s unlikely to make it onto lists of the very best compositions by The Beatles, “What’s the New Mary Jane” was a highlight of the third “Anthology” record, one that received fewer media coverage than its predecessor. This happened despite including a number of previously unofficially released songs.

For all intents and purposes, the song is a jokey John Lennon song in which he sings about a woman being married to Yeti and signing a contract with Apple.

It was recorded by Lennon together with Harrison and Yoko Ono. Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney likely did not contribute to this. And while it was intended for the sprawling “The White Album,” it did not make the final cut.

“Child of Nature”

“Child of Nature” is another heavily bootlegged song and one that eventually got rewritten into a John Lennon classic.

By the time The Beatles were ending their run, they’d collected many spare songs. While they might not have found a place on official recordings, many would be released on the four members’ early-1970s solo albums.

“Child of Nature” mentions Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his yoga retreat in Rishikesh, India. Lennon kept the song structure and vocal melody and changed it to become “Jealous Guy,” one of the most famous songs on his “Imagine” solo album.

“All Things Must Pass”

As Peter Jackson’s landmark “Get Back” movie has shown, “All Things Must Pass” was a song that The Beatles rehearsed intensely during the sessions for “Let It Be.”

This was one of the numerous songs that George Harrison had written around the tail-end of the 1960s. Few made their way onto official albums. This furthered the guitarist’s dissatisfaction with the band.

Bob Dylan and The Band’s rootsy folk-rock sound heavily inspired the song. The Beatles never got to release it officially. This meant that Harrison could include it on his celebrated debut solo album.

“All Things Must Pass” gave Harrison’s debut its name and, much like Lennon’s “God,” it helped to bookend the end of the era’s most famous group.

“Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias”

“Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias” is a two-in-one song that offered additional unreleased songs to purchasers of the “Anthology” series.

First, “Step Inside Love” is a Paul McCartney-penned tune intended to be sung by singer Cilla Black on her 1967 television series.

Meanwhile, “Los Paranoias” is a phrase that The Beatles often used and which made its way onto the second part of the jam session captured on tape. One could also envision it placed on the colorful “Yellow Submarine” soundtrack.

The pseudo-Spanish of “Los Paranoias” would influence the song “Sun King.”

We ranked “Abbey Road” is the best Beatles album, but would “Los Paranoias” only make it better? Hard to tell!

“The Palace of the King of the Birds”

The Beatles were the first band to enjoy success both for their succinct pop tracks and for their more experimental numbers. “The Palace of the King of the Birds” is an instrumental jam that splits the difference.

Paul McCartney leads the band on this one. The heavily bootlegged recording was recorded during The Beatles’ fabled “Let it Be” sessions at Twickenham Film Studios.

The loose, otherworldly jam wouldn’t feel out of place on “Magical Mystery Tour” alongside songs like “Flying” or “Blue Jay Way.”

McCartney may have considered including this in the second side medley on “Abbey Road.” However, it was forgotten before the songwriter took another stab at it during the late 1970s while recording with Wings.

“Not Guilty”

George Harrison’s songs in the latter part of the 1960s didn’t just showcase his growing abilities. They also showcased his growing dissatisfaction with The Beatles as an organization.

“Not Guilty” is one of the most distinctive songs in the Obscure section of The Beatles catalog. When released on “Anthology 3,” it felt like one of the only new songs to feel complete.

The lyrics primarily tell the story of the band’s foray into Asian philosophy, something Harrison would remain closest to in the years that followed.

The words also allude to internal conflicts within the group with lyrics like “Not guilty/ For leading you astray/ On the road to Mandalay.

The song was initially considered for inclusion on “The White Album” but was eventually cut from the 26-song list, most likely, because of its subject matter. it, however, one of the most underrated Beatles songs.

“Leave My Kitten Alone”

Producer George Martin may initially have had doubts about The Beatles’ capacity to develop single-worthy material. But any such doubts were quickly laid to rest.

“Leave My Kitten Alone” is an R&B standard. It was likely a tune that The Beatles may have played in Hamburg or at The Cavern Club.

The band recorded a studio version meant for release on “Beatles for Sale.” However, with a few other rock n’ roll covers already recorded for the album and plenty of good, original material, “Leave My Kitten Alone” was scrapped until it was finally released on “Anthology 1”.

“Suzy Parker”

“Suzy Parker” is a jam-session tune loosely penned about the American fashion model.

The song itself is another jokey John Lennon-lead jam. It was recorded on breaks for the “Don’t Let Me Down” sessions. It finds the band at their loosest and most comedy friendly, with Harrison and McCartney joining in on the backing lines “C’mon Suzy Parker, C’mon Suzy Parker.”

For pretty obvious reasons, it was not included on an official album but appeared on the soundtrack to “Let It Be,” which won an Academy Award.

It’s since been omitted from other retrospectives about The Beatles, including the “Get Back” film.

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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