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Old Aug 24, 2005, 12:41 PM   #1
SF4-EVER
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Default One More Beatles Song, or Should They Just Let It Be?

I'm posting this for I am the Paulrus.


One More Beatles Song, or Should They Just Let It Be?

By Rip Rense
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, August 21, 2005

There is yet another bend in the long and winding road.

There is one more Beatles song. Not another overlooked '60s tune from a dusty corner of a vault. Not an outtake, rough rehearsal, or crude early tape made in Paul McCartney's living room and found in somebody's shoe box.

But neither is it a finished work. A Beatles song in the sense that all four group members are heard on it, it is one of three "virtual reunion songs" worked on in 1995 by McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and producer Jeff Lynne. Two songs, "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love," were composed and released. The third started with John Lennon's home tape of his haunting, unreleased ballad "I Don't Want to Lose You."

It was left incomplete, but McCartney said that might change. "When we did 'Free as a Bird' and 'Real Love,' "McCartney said in a 2002 MSN Internet chat, "there was another track under consideration for us to work on but we didn't get around to it, so I wonder if there will be a chance in the future. I wouldn't mind doing it."

In fact, though, he, Harrison and Starr did "get around" to the song. It was worked on, according to one report, in 1994 and 1995 at McCartney's Mill Studio in Sussex.

Prtoduce Lynne recalls it differently: "It was one day -- one afternoon, really -- messing with it," he said in the only comments he has made about the song, to this writer in 1995. "The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track . . . a rough go that we really didn't finish.

"It was sort of a bluesy sort of ballad, I suppose, in A minor. It was a very sweet song; I liked it alot, and I wished we could have finished it."

Added longtime Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, who also worked on the sessions, in a 1997 interview with this writer: "It would be nice to get it finished. Paul's up for it. . . . The chorus is great . . . it would make a great record."

Yoko Ono, who in 1994 chose the song, as well as "Bird" and "Real Love," for the remaining group members to turn into full-fledged Beatles tunes, says she does not oppose having it finished today.

"I sent those songs to them when the situation was quite different," she said from her home in New York. "Now that George is gone, I don't know if the same would apply. I will consider the possibility, that is, when i get the call."

In the meantime, a rendition of the song is available six nights each week to New York theater-goers.

The flurry of new Beatles work in the mid-90s was part of the multimedia "Beatles Anthology" project, which all the Beatles had committed to doing. (Lennon, in 1979 court documents relating to a lawsuit against the producers of the stae show "Beatlemania," said the group would produce a documentary that would include new music.) Completed by the so-called Threetles, "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" were greeted with mixed reviews and controversy. BBC Radio 1 refused to add "Real Love" to its playlist, saying the song did not meet its young target demographic. Another song, "Grow Old with Me," was rejected by the group (rumoured to be to poignant to handle), although was later scored with small orchestra by veteran Beatles producer George Martin, at Ono's request, and included on the "John Lennon Anthology."

"I Don't Want to Lose You" originally intened for the third "Anthology" CD package, was put aside, reported because it was not falling together easily and required more writing. The song was ultimately abandoned after critical notices for the first two reunion songs left the trio, especially Harrison, reluctant to venture a third.

Harrison -- who during the mid-'90s "Free as a Bird" sessions morbidly quipped, "I hope someone does this to all my crap demos when I'm dead, making them into hit songs' -- is present on the recording, though it is not known whether just on guitar or also on vocals. He died of cancer Nov. 30, 2001.

Oddly, it was Harrison, known to sometimes speak and sing bitterly about his Beatles years, who first approached Ono about a virtual Beatles reunion.

Ono took the request to heart, selecting unreleased Lennon songs "very carefully," she said, "because the songs were to come from the Beatles. The Beatles will be singing to the world again. The implication of that was tremendous."

She chose "I Don't Want to Lose You" for almost therapeutic reasons.

"I thought, this was a song which would release people from their sorrow of losing John," she said. "By listening to the song, they will eventually be able to release their sorrow and arrive at an understanding that, actually, John is not lost to them. . . .Paul, George and Ringo lost a great friend as well. If they sung this song from their hearts it would have helped many people around the world who felt the same."

If completed, the song would acquire an extra layer of meaning, what with Harrison's loss. Should it be finished? McCartney, Lynne, and Emerick are on the record in the affirmative. And so, at least with qualifications, are several Beatles specialists, including Mark Hudson, Starr's close friend and writing and producing partner of his last five albums.

"I'd love to see it happen! Are you kidding?" said Hudson, reached in Los Angeles.

There is a "political" problem, Hudson added, stemming from the fact that it is a Lennon song that would be completed by McCartney, who in recent years objected to Lennon's name on the credit for the McCartney-penned "Yesterday." (He since withdrew the complaint, saying it was poor judgement.) In any case, Hudson added, "if anybody is going to be capable of making an addition to a John Lennon song, it definitely would be Paul McCartney. . . .

"And I think he would write it like a Lennon-McCartney song, I really do. I don't think he would make it too McCartney."

Bill King, editor and publisher of Beatlefan, the oldest Beatles fan publication in the United States, said "naturally I'd like to see it completed" -- though not necessarily an an official Beatles song.

"Whether I'd like it to be released under the name Beatles depends on the degree of collaboration," said King. "If George played or sang on it snd his contributions are kept in the finished version, and if both Ringo and Paul are involved in finishing it up, then I wouldn't have a problem with it being a 'Beatles' release. If it's just Paul finishing it off (and Harrison and/or Ringo are absent), it shouldn't be called the Beatles."

Chris Carter, host of "Breakfast with the Beatles" on KLSX-FM in Los Angeles and a widely recognized authority on the group, had other Beatles priorities.
"I would value any song, especially if it was great, performed by John, Paul, George and Ringo, no matter how or when it was recorded," he said. "If Capitol is really looking for some 'new/old' Beatle product to release, they can always release the Beatles' Christmas discs on CD. We've only been waiting for that since 1971!"

The Beatles recorded annual Christmas messages on flexible discs mailed exclusively to members of their fan club. They were compiled in "The Beatles Christmas Album," on the Apple label, which was pressed only for fan club members in 1971.

For now, "I Don't Want to Lose You" has found life as one of three "new" songs Ono presented to "Lennon -- The Musical", which opened last week at the Broadhurst Theater in New York. (The others are a demo of "Cookin' in the Kitchen of Love," which was recorded by Starr in 1978, and a 1980 demo of a breezy, lyrical 1968 ballad titled, "India, India".) Said Don Scardino, writer and director of "Lennon," in a recent interview: " 'I Don't Want to Lose You' may be the saddest, most poignant love song he ever wrote."
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Old Aug 24, 2005, 01:22 PM   #2
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It could be a track on a Paul album if he reworked it. Please paul!
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Old Aug 25, 2005, 03:56 PM   #3
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i would love one more song or any.i loved real love and free as a bird.i still have athought in my head that paul will write a 21stcentury yesterday.new music i t would be nice but i would settle for apple to release it all already.
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Old Aug 25, 2005, 04:56 PM   #4
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with George gone they should "Let it be"
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Old Aug 27, 2005, 12:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twovirgins
with George gone they should "Let it be"
Agreed. The time for "new" beatles tracks has gone. Also there must be a reason it didn't make the cut for Anthology 3.
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Old Aug 27, 2005, 08:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimmerman The Gnome
Agreed. The time for "new" beatles tracks has gone. Also there must be a reason it didn't make the cut for Anthology 3.
I also agree with both Zimmerman and twovirgins.
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Old Sep 02, 2005, 09:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SF4-EVER

Harrison -- who during the mid-'90s "Free as a Bird" sessions morbidly quipped, "I hope someone does this to all my crap demos when I'm dead, making them into hit songs' -- is present on the recording, though it is not known whether just on guitar or also on vocals.
lol!! omg, love it... is there anyone more cynical?

I think if Dhani were involved I'd trust it to be managed as George would also have chosen. He's the only one I'd trust though in articulating whether it would be representative of a work George would be proud enough to be involved in.
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Old Sep 03, 2005, 12:43 PM   #8
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Sigh, articles like this just make me sad for all the songs that might have been. The songs that might have been had John lived to write on, the songs that might have been had George lived, the collaborations that will never be. It's just too sad to even contemplate.

And I agree with Chris Carter, release the Christmas recordings already sheesh!

Take a bite out of that apple for crying out loud!
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Old Sep 04, 2005, 09:55 AM   #9
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Honestly, I don't care if it's not as good as it could have been with only half the originals still alive, I would really like, for once, to know the feeling of waiting eagerly for the new Beatles song. It's the last chance any of us younger fans could ever have to hear a real Beatles track Solo albums aren't the same, one last technological miracle from the Anthology sessions is as close as we're going to get. I was much younger when Anthology came out, and was thus more concerned with whatever game of pretend encompassed my world at the time, and until somebody invents a time machine (I'm working on it!) I won't get to experience what my mother did many years ago. Besides that, there are some teenagers with taste who've never listened to the Beatles before who might get intrigued by the new release.

I know it wouldn't be the same, with John and George gone. But it would be the next best thing. And I'm sure I'm not alone in craving just one more new song.
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Old Sep 05, 2005, 06:38 AM   #10
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Well, I would buy it... And I agree with Chris Carter that the Christmas recordings should be released, along with Live At The Hollywood Bowl.
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Old Sep 05, 2005, 09:16 AM   #11
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Why now? I think the time has passed for another "Beatle" release, and it certainly isn't a Paul McCartney track, so it would have no place on a solo album by Paul.
Back then they couldn't finish the track because of the poor condition of the original tape. Perhaps the technology is more advantaged then 10 years ago,so they can overcome that. But even with George's contributions left in tact I still have mixed feelings about it.

I love the original Lennon demo tho.
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Old Sep 10, 2005, 08:53 PM   #12
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I admit to feeling somewhat ambivalent. While I am always delighted at the prospect of more "Beatle" releases, I agree that this would not really belong on a solo recording by Paul.

Considering the advances that have been made in technology and the inclusion of George's input intact, this makes me really want it. And yeah, John's original is excellent.
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Old Sep 11, 2005, 10:15 AM   #13
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I have to say that the prospect of a new "Beatles" release does excite me, i think if they decide to do it, and they leave George's guitar or vocals on it in there then it would be great and if Paul finishes up the verses with the same feeling he had when he wrote "Friends To Go" but this time with John instead of George and Ringo being involved, then i'm all for it.

But this would have to be the Last Release by The Beatles, as everyone would agree.

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Old Sep 28, 2005, 05:40 AM   #14
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I honestly dont know. I mean, George apparently has worked on this song, but if it's not finished then i'm not sure if they should release it...
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Old Jan 06, 2007, 04:28 AM   #15
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Well, now they're going to release it anyway.

I was just looking for something else and I happened to see this thread.
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Old Jan 06, 2007, 06:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadLittleKid View Post
Well, now they're going to release it anyway.

I was just looking for something else and I happened to see this thread.
Who says that they are going to release it now?
This only proves that the current news story about releasing this new Beatle single is old news. Paul only said he regreted not finishing "Now and then".
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Old Jan 06, 2007, 09:28 AM   #17
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I don't want to bet on it but I think they'll release it anyway.
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Old Jan 07, 2007, 09:21 AM   #18
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[quote=beatlebangs1964;511689]I admit to feeling somewhat ambivalent. While I am always delighted at the prospect of more "Beatle" releases, I agree that this would not really belong on a solo recording by Paul.
quote]

That's about how I feel.
I don't see the harm in doing this, but it's not exciting to me either.
It's not really a Beatles song anymore, but a novelty song, just like Free as A Bird and Real Love, which were works of art but novelties none the less.

Great quote of George saying he hopes someone turns his crap demos into songs, which makes me wonder how many Beatle songs that are classic masterpieces started out as crap demos until the Beatles did their collective magic on them.
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Old Jan 07, 2007, 12:38 PM   #19
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If Yoko allows Paul to finish off "Now and Then" , I think it should be a special release credited to the Beatles instead of it being on Paul's next record because it will look like Paul is using a reunion of sorts to help sell his next release . Hopefully Ringo will supply the drumming
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Old Jan 07, 2007, 12:42 PM   #20
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Lots of assumptions.
I don't know where you base that on, other then an one year old story?
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