Well, it's Friday, and here's another compliation I just finished. For several years now, I thought it would be interesting to have a collection of "bogus beatlegs," in other words songs that weren't the Beatles, although many of them have been represented as such. When a few more interesting tracks turned up in recent months at the WFMU blog, I knew I had the makings of a great disc.
I made artwork, but rather than try to format liner notes, here is a run-down of what you need to know:
1-2) Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers
These often get lumped in with the recordings that the Beatles made in Germany with Tony Sheridan, and a couple of times, I've heard people suggest that it's really them, but besides the different instrumentation, it doesn't sound like it to me.
3-4) The Liverpools
In 1964, when Beatlemania hit the U.S., records like this were everywhere, trying to entice Yankee children to fork over more of their allowance for further "Beatle beats." Here are two spurious examples.
5) The Knickerbockers - Lies
I don't care if these guys were trying to rip off the sound or not, this is a good track, and I would say they succeeded!
6) John and Paul - People Say
Now we get to tracks that actually appeared on Beatles boots. This awful song might be John and Paul, but it's not THAT John and Paul. There are lots of John and Pauls in the world, right? Exactly.
7) Litmus Paper Shirt
In early years, lots of titles for supposedly unreleased Beatles songs emerged, some as jokes, but nevertheless they stuck. (See Neil Innes' Rutles song "Unfinished Words.") This is one that was assigned to a scrap from the "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" sessions (although somebody added something over the top since then).
8) Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
Again, this one showed up on boots, and while it's a pretty good send-up of psychedelia, it's not THAT Beatley to me.
9) Peace of Mind
And here we have probably the most widely-debated track contained herein. Supposedly found in the Apple trash (where it belonged), my guess is that origin story tells us all we need to know. Included on many discs over the years, I don't think Lennon on his worst day wrote lyrics that ridiculous. All I am sure of is that we'll never know who actually did this, because they won't admit to it.
10) I Want You (acetate)
Some people swear that's Paul on vocals, but it's pretty obvious it's not. Just who it is, though, is a matter of discussion. I was leaning toward the Iveys at one point, but now I have my doubts. It's a competant rendering, but I've always thought it was rather a rote run-through.
11) Oh, I Need You
I remember buying a disc as a young teen, getting to this track, and yelling out "That's not them!" I have heard Apple discovery Mortimer as the ones being to blame for this wretched song.
12-13) The Masked Marauders
In the late 60's, somebody printed a joke review in an issue of Rolling Stone, alleging that George Harrison, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan all went somewhere and secretly made an album together, even listing song titles. People took it so seriously, an album had to appear, and for a short while it was available. I enjoy "Cow Pie" as a pleasant piece, a good parody of the "Nashville Skyline" album, and the impression of Jagger is pretty good on Track 12 (for a while, anyhow, it's only twice as long as it needs to be), but the rest of the album is pretty bad, and I don't know who it would have fooled.
14) The Fut - Have You Heard the Word
Now this is a different story. Also a staple of numerous bootlegs, I can play this one over and over and not get tired of it. That, plus Maurice Gibb's Lennon is spot-on.
15) Session Jam (parts 1 & 2)
Now here's one that fooled me as a kid. I bought Yellow Dog's GET BACK, and this was included as a bonus track. And you've got to admit, it fits in well with the Get Back sessions, but now that 90+ hours are available (and I've listened to it all), it seems this wasn't anywhere to be found. Oh well, I doubt this was a deliberate hoax, except maybe on the part of Yellow Dog.
There was a time when the world swore that Klaatu were the reformed Beatles. "Subway" is a pretty good Macca, if that's what they were going for, but the rest of their album is so progressive, it becomes quickly obvious that Klaatu is their own band (with a cool name).
18-19) The Rutles
And sometimes the parodies fool people. Track 19 was included on the famous "Indian Rope Trick" boot, and I included 18 because it's the rare single version not available anywhere that I've seen. Love them Rutles!
20) bonus track
I'm not telling!
Enough rambling, get after it!