Collectible outtakes

March 18, 1996|By Rick Horowitz

READY FOR another dose of deja tune? Volume 2 of ''The Beatles Anthology'' is pouring into music stores (and right back out again). Volume 1, with scraps and snatches from the early years, was a megahit, the best-selling double-CD ever. Ever.

And Volume 2? One more-or-less ''new'' song, plus dozens of buried treasures from the ''Rubber Soul,'' ''Revolver,'' ''Sgt. Pepper,'' ''Magical Mystery Tour'' era. Who knows what we've been missing all these years? In fact, just feast your ears on some of these:

Yesterday: Unreleased early take of this Paul McCartney classic. Producer George Martin hasn't yet decided on accompaniment; instead of a string quartet, Martin employs a jug band.

Ticket To Ride: Live recording from the Beatles' historic concert at Shea Stadium in New York. Despite intense crowd noise, several phrases in the first verse are nearly audible.

Four Of Fish: Vocal-only track from 1965 features Paul breaking off recording session to order lunch. The only known recording of this lunch order.

Help! (take 2): Incomplete early track from ''Four of Fish'' session. John's vocal is indistinct; he may have had food in his mouth.

Help! (take 5): More polished vocal from John except in second chorus, where he tries to sing through a straw.

Eleanor Rigby: Always willing to push the envelope, the lads try it as a rumba. Never released.

Sound Checks: Preparing for live broadcast on the BBC, Beatles cough, clear their throats and say, ''Test, test . . . '' for three minutes and 20 seconds. Later considered for inclusion on ''Sgt. Pepper'' but vetoed by Paul, who feels his cough is a semitone flat.

Taxman: Never-before-heard rehearsal track of George Harrison song. Accompanying on bass, Paul is heard muttering, ''I can write better bits in my sleep!''

Rock And Roll Music: Ringo falls through his drum kit.

Strawberry Fields Forever (take 1): Includes acoustic guitar accompaniment and spoken intro from John: ''I don't get it either, but it's fun.''

Strawberry Fields Forever (take 17): John belches.

Good Morning, Good Morning: Non-vocal, non-instrumental compilation track of animal noises used for opening and closing segments. In addition to roosters, horses, dogs, cats and chickens, producer Martin records pigs, ducks, marmosets and frogs. Note: Production is temporarily delayed when giraffe refuses to speak without a contract.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: Early take with alternate lyrics; John sings of ''gabardine trees and Medicaid skies,'' but decides images are insufficiently obscure.

Within You, Without You: Alternate version of Indian-inspired song by George includes accordion and tuba tracks, later deleted. Also deleted: background vocals clearly saying ''Paul is dead'' or perhaps ''Mow his head.''

I Am The Walrus: Unreleased, vastly different version reveals John, deep into mysticism and astrology, singing ''I am a Taurus.'' Backing track by Paul is said to anticipate disco boom of mid-'70s.

Lady Madonna: Ringo drops his drumsticks.

Hello Goodbye: Paul gets the hiccups. . . .

Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. His e-mail address is: horowitmnifest.uwm.edu

Pub Date: 3/18/96

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