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Beatles Un-1

  • Aug 31, 2009
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The Beatles' material seems to be endlessly repackaged and re-released by the record companies so that people of all ages know their music. In 2000, Capitol released a 27 song compilation of their #1 hits. What about great Beatles' songs that either didn't hit #1 as singles or that weren't released as singles? Here's a list 12 Beatles' "Un-1" songs.
I saw her standing there
"I saw her standing there" was released in the USA as Capitol #5112 on January 13, 1964 and peaked at #14. It was the flip-side of "I want to hold your hand," the song that introduced American teenagers to the Beatles. Rumor has it that Paul originally used something about a "beauty queen" to rhyme with "seventeen" but John recommended the more suggestive "If you know what I mean."
Please please me
"Please please me" was released in the UK as Parlophone #R4893 on January 11, 1963 and peaked at #3 in the USA. It was first released in the USA on Vee Jay Records (#481) backed with "Ask Me Why" on February 25, 1963 and later as Vee Jay #581 (backed with "From Me To You") on January 30, 1964, just before the Beatles hit it big on the American market. It originally was a slower Roy Orbison-like song, but producer George Martin suggested speeding it up. After the recording was completed, he announced: "You've just made your first number one," which was true in the UK, but not in the USA.
This boy
"This boy" was released in the UK as Parlophone #R5084 on November 29, 1963. The fact that such a great song was used as the B-side for "I want to hold your hand" shows the strength of the Lennon-McCartney collaboration. It features beautiful close 3-part harmony from John, Paul, and George and passionate lead vocal by John.
With the Beatles
"All my loving" was a track from the Parlophone LP "With the Beatles" (PCS3045) released in the UK on November 22, 1963. The song peaked at #45 in the USA. It represented some of Paul's strongest songwriting up to that point in their career and features a country and western sort of guitar solo by George that interestingly fits right in.
Long Tall Sally EP
"I call your name" was a song by John from the Parlophone EP "Long Tall Sally" (GEP8913) released in the UK on June 19, 1964. It was originally given to Billy J. Kramer as a B-side for "Bad to me" (also written by John).
I should have known better
Written by John, "I should have known better" was the flip-side of "A Hard Day's Night" (Capitol #5222) and was released July 18, 1964. It peaked at #53 in the USA. It features a strong vocal harmonica playing by John as well as George's new 12-string Rickenbacker guitar.
I feel fine/she's a woman
"She's a woman" was released in the UK as Parlophone #5200 on November 27, 1964. It peaked at #4 in the USA. It's a syncopated blues by Paul and was released as the B-side of "I feel fine" in the US as Capitol #5327 late in 1964.
Rubber Soul
"In my life" is an autobiographical song by John from the Parlophone LP "Rubber Soul" (PCS3075) released in the UK on December 3, 1965. Producer George Martin plays a Baroque piano solo in the middle eight. The piano solo was recorded at half speed and played back at double speed to get it to work at the correct tempo.
Nowhere man
"Nowhere man" is a song by John released as a single in the USA (Capitol #5587) on February 21, 1966 and as part of an EP in the UK (Parlophone GEP 8952) on July 8, 1966. Featuring a close 3-part a capella intro harmony and nice understated guitar solo by George, it peaked at #3 in the US.
Strawberry fields forever
"Strawberry fields forever" is a nostalgic song of John's that was released in the UK as Parlophone R5570 on February 17, 1967 and as Capitol #5810 on February 25, 1967 in the US where it reached a peak position of #8. Work on it began November 24, 1966 as the Beatles started work on a "new" album (which would turn out to be "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"), but this song never made it to the album and was released as a single. It was one of the most complicated things they ever did. It featured a mellotron (precursor of the string synthesizer) and George Martin scored trumpets and cellos for the song. John wanted to join together the first part of the lighter original version he did with the second part of the more intense scored version. According to "The Beatles Recording Sessions" (pp 90-91), George Martin said: "Two things against it. They are in different keys and different tempos." John said, "You can fix it." On December 22, 1966, Martin and Geoff Emerick speeded up the first version (take 7) and slowed down the second version (take 26) so that the pitches matched. The edit occurs 60 seconds into the released version of the single.
white album
"While my guitar gently weeps" is a song by George (whose songs always had to wait in line after John's and Paul's) from the Parlophone LP "The Beatles" (PCS 7067-8) released in the UK on November 22, 1968. It was first recorded on solo acoustic guitar by George on July 25, 1968 and Eric Clapton was brought in for the guitar solo on the final studio version.
abbey road
"Here comes the sun" is another song by George and is from the Parlophone "Abbey Road" LP (PCS 7088) released on September 26, 1969. According to "The Beatles Recording Sessions" George had taken a holiday from Apple's tedious business dealings to sit in the sun in the garden of his friend Eric Clapton's home, and this song resulted. Only George, Paul and Ringo appear on the recording.

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September 09, 2009
Love the Beatles. In My Life is one of my favorite all-time songs.
September 09, 2009
Interesting way to look at the Beatles. "Here Comes the Sun" is one of my favorite songs. I've been listening to 'Abbey Road" all week in my car. I like "Because" too, I just wish there was a bit more to it...longer, you know.
September 02, 2009
Wow, Steve- GREAT LIST! I love the Beatles and it's amazing that some of these never topped the charts.Thanks for sharing.
About the list creator
Steve DiBartola ()
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I was invited to join Lunch by one of the developers, who apparently read some reviews I posted on Library Thing. My interests are books, music, and movies. I enjoy both classical and contemporary fiction, … more
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