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Oh Look Out! Part 28, Sessions
by John T. Marck

 

 

Learn all about The Beatles famous album "SESSIONS."

This was that album that lead to the famous Anthology series.

Oh Look Out! Songs and Albums of The Beatles

Part 28

SESSIONS

During the years that The Beatles recorded together as a group (1962-1970), they recorded more than two hundred songs for EMI Records. During this time, and more specifically the year's 1962 to 1966, The Beatles were busy providing live performances, making movies, and appearing on television, to satisfy the demands of their millions of fans and media.

Before The Beatles actually broke up, there was much talk that there were many unreleased tracks hidden in the vaults at various recording studios. Originally, the various stories circulated about indicated that there was between fifty and two-hundred-fifty un-issued titles in the vaults. However, in truth, there were only a few titles that remained unreleased, that is until the album "Sessions."

In locating these previously unreleased titles, we look at three separate sources. First were the recordings from the BBC, which The Beatles recorded between March 1962 and June 1965. It would be between these years that The Beatles recorded thirty-six songs for the BBC Studios in Manchester and London, designed for radio broadcast only. These songs were never intended nor recorded for EMI for commercial release. The Beatles also re-recorded many of their early hits and other album tracks during this same period, but it is the original material that stirred the most interest.

Next came material that was recorded as publisher's demonstration tracks, which are songs The Beatles composed for other artists. One of the biggest rumors was that The Beatles recorded all the songs they gave to other artists; a fact that is widely and wrongly assumed. But, from a composer standpoint, The Beatles did demo some of the songs for their publishers. These few tracks consisted of merely vocals with an acoustic guitar accompaniment, and were assumed to be recorded either at the Beatles' homes, or in the publisher's studio.

The last places that unreleased tracks were located was at other studios, as by the end of the Beatles' career as a group, they did record in other studios apart from Abbey Road. These were Trident, Apple, and Twickenham Film Studios, where a great deal of "Let It Be" was recorded. With these various areas in mind, it was very possible that some songs were recorded in very rough forms, and never delivered to EMI.

But, the tracks that appear on the album, "Sessions," were those that EMI did have that were previously unreleased.

The story for "Sessions" began in 1976 when The Beatles contract with EMI finally expired. At this time, EMI executives gathered together and listened to all the Beatles' material that had not been released. Of these, most were quite rough, and considered unsuitable for commercial release. One of the tracks was "Leave My Kitten Alone," which was seriously being considered for release in 1980. However, with the tragic death of John Lennon that December, this idea was shelved.

In 1982, upon the twentieth anniversary of the release of "Love Me Do," the Beatles' first single with EMI, executives decided to appoint one person to undertake the colossal task of listening to each and every tape The Beatles had recorded for EMI, and then log and reference to any song or material that was previously unknown.

This task was given to John Barrett, a studio engineer at Abbey Road. In his search, no new tracks were discovered, but there were many fascinating alternate versions of previously released songs. However, tragically, Mr. Barrett died in 1984, but the fruits of his labor remain.

Studio executives then appraised the original unreleased material they had, as well as the alternate versions found by Barrett, and decided that all the titles in anything but mono would benefit from being re-mixed. Executives approached Geoff Emerick, who had engineered many of The Beatles' songs in the past, and asked him to listen to these tracks and re-mix them to improve their overall sound quality.

Mr. Emerick began this task in Air Studios in London and in Montserrat, and upon completion, presented the tape to EMI. Upon their inspection, it was clear that they processed a product that would make a great album both historically and musically. Upon the albums completion, it was never commercially released, because of various problems, as well as the concept for The Beatles Anthology series. I had read about it's impending release in a news report, and waited and waited, only to be very disappointed that it never came to be, or so I thought. Then, through a course of lucky events, I was able to secure a copy of "Sessions," about two years before The Beatles released Anthology I. At the time I was able to locate a copy, it was quite a great find, as I had never heard these songs or the versions presented. Since obtaining "Sessions," all the songs on it have appeared on The Beatles Anthologies. Still, it's a wonderful collectable.

The fourteen songs that either were previously unreleased or alternate versions that made up the album "Sessions," are:

"Come And Get It" / Leave My Kitten Alone / Not Guilty / I'm Looking Through You / What's The New Mary Jane? / How Do You Do It / Besame Mucho / One After 909 / If You've Got Troubles / That means A Lot / While My Guitar Gently Weeps / Mailman Blues / Christmas Time Is Here Again / and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La, Da.

So now I herein present:

SESSIONS

Track 1:Come And Get It (Paul McCartney)

This fabulous song was recorded in Studio 2, at Abbey Road Studios on July 24, 1969, during the Abbey Road Sessions. With Paul at lead vocal, it was recorded the same day as "Sun King." Unreleased commercially by The Beatles, it was given to the band Badfinger, who recorded it and which became their first hit in 1970. This song by Badfinger was also featured in the movie, "The Magic Christian," which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr.

If you want it, here it is, come and get it, ooo, make your mind up fast

If you want it, anytime I can give it, but you better hurry 'cos it may not last

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?

Will you walk away from a fool and his money?

If you want it, here it is, come and get it, but you better hurry 'cos it's going fast

If you want it here it is, come and get it, make your mind up fast

If you want it anytime I can give it, but you'd better hurry 'cos it may not last

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?

Will you walk away from a fool and his money?

Sonny, if you want it, here it is, come and get it

But you'd better hurry cos it's going fast, you'd better hurry 'cos it's going fast, ooo

Fool and his money

Sonny, if you want it, here it is, come and get it,

But you'd better hurry 'cos it's going fast,

You'd better hurry 'cos it's going fast,

You'd better hurry 'cos it's going fast

Track 2:Leave My Kitten Alone (Turner McDougall)

This song was recorded in Studio 2, Abbey Road, on August 14, 1964, during the "Beatles For Sale" album sessions. A late fifties song, it was recorded by many including Little Willie John and Johnny Preston. The version here features John Lennon on lead vocals.

You better leave, my kitten all alone, you better leave, my kitten all alone

But I told you big fat bulldog, you better leave her alone

You better leave, my kitten all alone, you better leave, my kitten all alone

This dog is gonna get you, if you don't leave her alone

Well Mr. Dog I'm gonna hit you on the top of your head

That child is gonna miss you, you gonna wish that you were dead

If you don't leave, my kitten all alone

Well I told you big fat bulldog, you better leave her alone

Leave her alone!

Well Mr. Dog I'm gonna hit you on the top of your head

That girl is gonna miss you, you gonna wish that you were dead

If you don't leave, my kitten all alone, oh yeah Well I told you big fat bulldog, you better leave her alone

Hey hey you better leave, you better leave, you better leave, yeah, you better leave,

You better leave, oh you got to leave...yeah

Track 3:Not Guilty (George Harrison)

Recorded at Studio 2, Abbey Road on August 8, 1968, this song was intended to appear on The Beatles' "White Album," but never made it on the final album. Rumor has it that Eric Clapton also appeared on this particular recording. George Harrison later recorded a tamer version for his 1979 Dark Horse album titled, "George Harrison."

Not guilty, for getting in your way

While you're trying to steal the day

Not guilty, and I'm not here for the rest,

I'm not trying to steal your vest

I am not trying to be smart, I only want what I can get

I'm really sorry for your aging head

But like you heard me said: Not Guilty

No use handing me a writ, while I'm trying to do my bit

I don't expect to take your heart, I only want what I can get

I'm really sorry that you're underfed

But like you heard me said: Not Guilty

Not guilty, for looking like a freak,

Making friends with every Sikh

Not guilty, for leading you astray

On the road to Mandalay

I won't upset the apple cart

I only want what I can get

I'm really sorry that you've been misled

But like you heard me said: Not Guilty

Track 4: I'm Looking Through You(Lennon-McCartney)

Once again recorded in Studio 2 at Abbey Road, this version was take one, recorded on October 24, 1965. Quite an interesting version, this one here is longer than the final version that appears on the "Rubber Soul" album. The difference between the two versions is that the "bridge" (middle of the song) does not appear, because at this time it had not yet been written.

Written by McCartney, "I'm Looking Through You," was his most resentful song to date. When his relationship with Jane Asher came to a head, and Jane decided to leave, Paul wrote this song. The lead vocal is Paul.

I'm looking through you, where did you go? I thought I knew you, what did I know?

You don't look different, but you have changed,

I'm looking through you, you're not the same

Your lips are moving, I cannot hear, your voice is soothing, but the words aren't clear

You don't sound different, I've learned the game,

I'm looking through you, you're not the same

You're thinking of me, the same old way, you were above me, but not today

The only difference is you're down there, I'm looking though you, and you're nowhere

The only difference is you're down there, I'm looking through you, and you're nowhere

Yeah, nowhere, yeah, nowhere, I'm looking through you, yeah, I'm looking through you

I'm looking through you, yeah, I'm looking through you

Track 5:What's The New, Mary Jane?(Lennon-McCartney)

As with "Not Guilty," this song was also recorded during the "White Album" sessions in Studio 2 at Abbey Road. And, like "Not Guilty," it was not included in the final album. Lots of wild sounds in this one! Lead vocals by John.

She looks as an African queen, she eating twelve chapattis and cream,

She tastes as Mongolian lamb, she coming from out of Bahran

What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane, what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

She like to be married with Yeti, he grooving such cooky spaghetti,

She jumping as Mexican bean, to make that her body more thin

What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane, what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

She catch Patagonian pancake, with that one a gin party makes

She having all the ways good contacts, she making with apple an contract What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane, what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

All together now: What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane, what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane, what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

What a shame Mary Jane, what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party

Track 6:How Do You Do It

(Mitch Murray)

At the same recording session when The Beatles recorded "Love Me Do," on September 4, 1962, they also recorded this one. Much has been said that this version was deliberately performed badly so as to have their own song, "Love Me Do," chosen as the second single. But, since this track was recorded a month before "Love Me Do" was released, this theory is rather a far-fetched idea. Never released commercially until it appeared on the Anthology series, this song was recorded by Gerry and the Pacemakers and became their number one song in the United Kingdom. Lead vocals by John.

How do you do what you do to me? I wish I knew

If I knew how you do it to me, I'd do it to you

How do you do what you do to me? I'm feeling blue

Wish I knew how you do it to me, but I haven't a clue

You give me a feeling in my heart, (oh la la) like an arrow passing through it

I suppose that you think you're very smart, but won't you tell me how do you do it?

How do you do what you do to me? I wish I knew

If I knew how you do it to me, I'd do it to you

You give me a feeling in my heart, (oh la la) like an arrow passing through it

I suppose that you think you're very smart, but won't you tell me how do you do it?

How do you do what you do to me? I wish I knew

Wish I knew how you do it to me, but I haven't a clue

Wish I knew how you do it to me, I'd do it to you

Wish I knew how you do it to me, I'd do it to you

Track 7:Besame Mucho (Velazquez-Skylar)

It was June 6, 1962. On this day, The Beatles first recorded at EMI's Abbey Road Studios. At this time, they consisted on John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and on the drums, Pete Best. On this day they recorded four songs; "Love Me Do, P.S. I Love You, Ask Me Why," and this one, "Besame Mucho." A song which dates back to the thirties, it was revised during the 50s, and was long used by The Beatles as a part of their live performances in the early years at the clubs. The Beatles also used this during their Decca auditions in January 1962. The lead vocal is Paul.

Besame, besame mucho, each time I bring you a kiss I hear music divine

So besame, besame mucho, yeh I love you forever, say that you'll always be mine

Dearest one, if you should leave me,

Then each little dream will take wings, and my life would be through

So besame, besame mucho, yeh I love you forever, make all my dreams come true

Oh this joy is something new, my arms are holding you,

I never knew this thrill before

Whoever thought I'd be holding you close to me, whispering it's you I adore

Yeah, so dearest one, if you should leave me

Then each little dream will take wings, and my life would be through So besame, besame mucho, yeah I love you forever, make all my dreams come true

Oh this joy is something new, my arms are holding you,

I never knew this thrill before

Whoever thought I'd be holding you close to me, whispering it's you I adore

Oh so dearest one, if you should leave me,

Each little dream will take wings, and my life would be through

So besame, besame mucho, now love me forever, make all my dreams come true

Love me forever, make all my dreams come true

Love me forever, make all my dreams come true

Track 8:One After 909(Lennon-McCartney)

Technically a Lennon composition, it was written in 1959, and revived in March 1963 as a possible single, but was never released. During the "Let It Be" sessions something reminded Lennon of it, and it was re-recorded during the rooftop concert. Lennon wrote it as an American style rock n 'roll song. It is probably the most relaxed and fun sounding recording of all those done during these sessions.

This version heard on "Sessions," was recorded on March 5, 1963; the same day that The Beatles recorded "From Me To You," and "Thank You Girl." The lead vocals are John and Paul.

My baby says she's traveling on the one after 909

I said move over honey, I'm traveling on that line

I said move over once, move over twice

Come on baby, don't be cold as ice, she said she's traveling on the one after 909

Well I begged her not to go and I begged her on my bended knees

I said you're only fooling around, you're only fooling around with me

I said move over once, move over twice, come on baby don't be cold as ice

She said she's traveling on the one after 909

Pick up my bag, run to the station, railman says, you've got the wrong location, yeah

Pick up my bags, run right home, then I find, you got the number wrong

She said she's traveling on the one after 909

Said move over honey I'm traveling on that line

Said move over once, move over twice

Come on baby, don't be cold as ice, she said she's traveling on the one after 909

Well, my baby said she's traveling on the one after 909

Said move over honey, I'm traveling on that line

Said move over once, move over twice

Come on baby, don't be cold as ice, she said she's traveling on the one after 90

Said I'm traveling on the one after 90, Said I'm traveling on the one after 909

Track 9:If You've Got Troubles (Lennon-McCartney)

During the "Help!" sessions, this previously unreleased song was recorded on February 18, 1965. It was intended as Ringo's contribution to that album, but was replaced by "Act Naturally." Lead vocals by Ringo.

I don't think it's funny when you ask for money and things,

Especially when you're standing there wearing diamond and rings

You think I'm soft in the head, well try someone softer instead pretty thing

It's not so funny when you know what money can bring

You better leave me alone, I don't need a thing from you

You better take yourself home, go and count a ring or two

If you've got trouble, then you got less trouble than me

You say you're worried, you can't be as worried as me

You're quite contend to be bad, with all the advantage you had over me

Just cause you're troubled and don't bring your troubles to me

Ah rock on anybody (rock on)

You better leave me alone, I don't need a thing from you

You better take yourself home, go and count a ring or two If you've got trouble, then you got less trouble than me

You say you're worried, you can't be as worried as me

You're quite contend to be bad, with all the advantage you had over me

Just cause you're troubled and don't bring your troubles to me

Just cause you're troubled and don't bring your troubles to me

Track 10:That Means A Lot (Lennon-McCartney)

Also recorded during the "Help!" sessions on February 18, 1965, this song was recorded by The Beatles herein, but then given to P.J. Proby who had a minor hit with it later that year. The lead vocal is Paul.

A friend says that your love won't mean a lot

And you know that your love is all you've got

At times things are so fine, and at times they're not

But when she says she loves you, that means a lot

A friend says that a love is never true

And you know that this don't apply on you

A touch can mean so much when it's all you've got

When she says she loves you, that means a lot

Love can be deep inside, love can be suicide

Can't you see you can't hide what you feel, when it's real

A friend says that your love won't mean a lot

And you know that your love is all you've got

A touch can mean so much, when it's all you've got

But when she says she loves you that means a lot

Can't you see, yeah, can't you see, yeah

Can't you see, yeah, can't you see, yeah

Can't you see, yeah, can't you see, yeah

Can't you see, yeah, can't you see, yeah

Track 11: While My Guitar Gently Weeps(George Harrison)

This is a great example of how a song can change from the original version heard here and the final version heard on the "White Album." Recorded on July 25, 1968, this version features only George singing and only two instruments, an acoustic guitar and keyboards. The last verse herein was not used when the final version was recorded for the "White Album." Lead vocals by George.

George was at this time enthralled with reading I Ching, and decided to apply its principles of chance into his writing. While at his parents' home, he picked a book from a shelf, and told himself that he would write a song based on the novel's first words. They were "gently weeps," thus he wrote this song around and with those words.

I look at you all, see the love there that's sleeping,

While my guitar gently weeps

I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping,

Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know why, nobody told you

How to unfold you love

I don't know how, someone controlled you

They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it's turning,

While my guitar gently weeps

With every mistake, we must surely be learning

Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know how, you were diverted,

You were perverted too

I don't know how, you were inverted,

No one elected you

I look from the wheels at the play you are staging, while my guitar gently weeps

As I'm sitting here, doing nothing but aging, still my guitar gently weeps

Track 12:Mailman Blues (Ruth Roberts, Bill Katz, Stanley Clayton)

This version was recorded on January 29, 1969 during the sessions for "Get Back" album, later renamed "Let It Be." The lead vocal is John.

She wrote me only one sad night, told me she's no longer mine

Sue sue mailman, that will do for sometime

Mailman, bring me no more blues, Mailman, bring me no more blues One more heartache is all I can use, Mailman, bring me no more blues,

Mailman, bring me no more blues...

Track 13:Christmas Time (Is Here Again)

Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey)

Specifically for their fan club members, The Beatles, between December 1963 and December 1969, issued seven flexi discs. These various records which today are collector's items, were tracks that ranged from merely thank you's to their fans to mini pantomimes. Although most were humorous, some featured music, such as this one here. The lead vocals are all The Beatles.

It's about to be mixed, page four hundred forty-four

Christmas time is here again, Christmas time is here again

Christmas time is here again, Christmas time is here again

And every month since you know when

Christmas time is here again, O-U-T- spells out

Christmas time is here again, Christmas time is here again

Christmas time is here again, Christmas time is here again

Track 14:Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da(Lennon-McCartney)

This is one of many versions that The Beatles recorded before arriving at the final version heard on the "White Album." This track was recorded on July 3, 1968, and was not intended to be included on "Sessions," but rather as the B-side to "Leave My Kitten Alone." The lead vocal is Paul.

A song by Paul, it came from the phrase, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, that means "life goes on," that Paul heard by a man named Jimmy Anonmuogharan Scott Emuakpor, a Nigerian Congo player who played in a group known as Bad Manners. Paul met him in the Bag o' Nails club in Solo, London. When Paul wrote the song, Jimmy Scott was annoyed, citing that he should receive some of the financial rewards for it. McCartney responded by telling him that if he had written any part of it, he would be glad to pay him, but he didn't. Scott sued, and meanwhile, was jailed for refusing to pay support to his ex-wife. Jimmy appealed to Paul to pay his rather large past support payment, which Paul did to help him out, but on the condition that Jimmy drop his case against him over the song. Jimmy did and he and Paul came to be and remained close friends over the years until Scott's death in 1986.

Paul loved this song and made many takes of it, driving the remaining three Beatles' crazy. McCartney wanted it released also as a single, but Lennon hated it and refused to let that happen. Consequently, a Scottish group known as Marmalade recorded it and had a number one hit. There is a mistake in the song where McCartney sang that "Desmond stayed at home and did his pretty face," when it should have been as the other similar line, referring to Molly. The three other Beatles liked the error, and it remained.

Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace, Molly is the singer in a band

Desmond says to Molly, girl I like you face,

And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, Life goes on, bra, la la how the life goes on

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, Life goes on, bra, la la how the life goes on

Desmond takes a trolley to the jewelers store, buys a twenty carat golden ring, (rin-ring)

Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door

And as he gives it to her she begins to sing (sin-sing)

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, Life goes on, bra, la la how the life goes on, ob-la-di, ob-la-da

Life goes on, bra, la la how the life goes on

Yeah, In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home

With a couple of kids running in the yard of Desmond and Molly Jones

Happy ever after in the marketplace, Desmond lets the children lend a hand

Molly stays at home and does her pretty face

And in the evening she's a singer with the band, ob-la-di, ob-la-da, Life goes on, bra

La la how the life goes on, ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra, la la how the life goes on Happy ever after in the marketplace, Molly lets the children lend a hand

Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face

And in the evening she's a singer with the band

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra, la la how the life goes on,

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra, la la how the life goes on

And if you want some fun, take ob-la-di-bla-da

NOTE: All lyrics contained herein by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey and/or Lennon and McCartney are ©Copyright Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. The lyrics contained herein are for the sole use of educational reference for the readers of this article. All other uses are in violation of international copyright laws. This use for educational reference, falls under the "fair use" sections of U.S. copyright law. Copyright © John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author, or the registered copyright holders.

All other lyrics herein other than those by The Beatles, i.e., Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starkey, are ©as follows, All Rights Reserved. Leave My Kitten Alone, © Little Willie John, Titus Turner, and James McDougal, Trio Music Co., Inc. / Fort Knox Music Inc., / Medal Music (BMI), All Rights Reserved; How Do You Do It, © Mitch Murray, Songs of Polygram International, Inc., All Rights Reserved; Besame Mucho, ©Consuelo Velazquez (music), Sunny Skylar (lyric), Promotora Hispano Americana de Musica, S.A. Administered by Peer International Corporation, All Rights Reserved; Mailman Blues and/or A.K.A. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues, ©Ruth Roberts, Bill Katz, Stanley Clayton, Peer Music (UK) Ltd. The lyrics contained herein are for the sole use of educational reference for the readers of this article. All other uses are in violation of international copyright laws. This use for educational reference, falls under the "fair use" sections of U.S. copyright law.

Except as otherwise stated above, all information contained in this article, EXCEPT song titles, lyrics, and photographs © John T. Marck.