The story of the unreleased Watching Rainbows by The Beatles

Unreleased – Watching Rainbows by The Beatles

This is a song that gets better and better and I really wonder what it could have been if they finished it. It is the song Watching Rainbows by The Beatles. Yes, there are still some unreleased gems out there.

Maybe we’ll see more of this “song” when Peter Jackson’s new documentary is released (Sadly set on hold until August 2021 du to the pandemic):

The Beatles: Get Back is an upcoming documentary film directed by Peter Jackson that covers the making of the Beatles’ 1970 album Let It Be, which had the working title of Get Back. The film draws from material originally captured in January 1969 by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg for his 1970 documentary of the album. The Beatles: Get Back endeavours to recut Lindsay-Hogg’s film to show the friendly camaraderie that still existed between the Beatles, as well as to challenge longtime assertions that the project was entirely marked by ill-feeling.

Over 55 hours of footage and 140 hours of audio stemming from the original project were made available to Jackson’s team, and it will include the full 42-minute rooftop concert. In reference to the long-reported acrimony surrounding the original Get Back project, Jackson wrote in a press statement that he was “relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth … Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with.”

Watching Rainbows is recorded on 14 January 1969 during the massive Get Back sessions at Twickenham Studios. It features John Lennon on lead vocal and electric piano, Paul McCartney on lead guitar, and Ringo Starr on drums. Bass guitar is absent from the song because Paul McCartney is playing George Harrison’s usual role as lead electric guitar.

Why was George absent? We’ll come to that, let us listen to the song first. Bare in mind that this is just as much a jam-session as a finished song, but we get a glimpse into what it could have been.

Watching Rainbows – The Beatles (1969) “complete” stereo version:

Watching Rainbows – The Beatles (1969) short “fan edit”:

George Harrison quit the band for a brief period starting on January 10th, 1969. At the time, The Beatles were practicing at the film studio, Twickenham, so that their rehearsals could be filmed. After a morning filed with verbal altercations between George and Paul, a quiet George Harrison eventually met up with the group and crew for lunch a bit late. Rather than joining them, he simply stated, “See you ’round the clubs” and disappeared.

The three remaining Beatles went back to the recording room not knowing what to do and unleashed an angry improvisational ruckus with John Lennon sarcastically leading the group to play The Who’s “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”

Days later, word got back to Harrison that Lennon had mentioned bringing in Eric Clapton as a replacement, which Lennon had probably said as a ploy to get George back rather than a real solution. After a five-hour meeting, Harrison rejoined the group on January 15th, 1969.


Continue reading “The story of the unreleased Watching Rainbows by The Beatles”

August 15: Watch – The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 15.35.40

August 15: The Beatles played at Shea Stadium in 1965

“Now, ladies and gentlemen, honoured by their country, decorated by their Queen, loved here in America, here are The Beatles!”
– Ed Sullivan

The Shea Stadium concert on 15 August was record-breaking and one of the most famous concert events of its era.  Over 55,000 people saw the concert.  “Beatlemania” was at one of its highest marks at the Shea show. Film footage taken at the concert shows many teenagers and women crying, screaming, and even fainting. The crowd noise was such that security guards can be seen covering their ears as The Beatles enter the field.

Shea2

 

The Beatles interview before Shea Stadium:

Continue reading “August 15: Watch – The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965”

August 5: The Beatles released “Revolver” in 1966

The-Beatles-Revolver

“twice as good and four times as startling as Rubber Soul, with sound effects, Oriental drones, jazz bands, transcendentalist lyrics, all kinds of rhythmic and harmonic surprises, and a filter that made John Lennon sound like God singing through a foghorn.”
~Robert Christgau

The Beatles had initiated a second pop revolution – one which while galvanising their existing rivals and inspiring many new ones, left all of them far behind.
~Ian MacDonald (Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties)

….. Either way, its daring sonic adventures and consistently stunning songcraft set the standard for what pop/rock could achieve. Even after Sgt. Pepper, Revolver stands as the ultimate modern pop album and it’s still as emulated as it was upon its original release.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Elanor Rigby:

Released 5 August 1966
Recorded 6 April – 21 June 1966,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock, psychedelic rock
Length 35:01
Label Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US)
Producer George Martin

Continue reading “August 5: The Beatles released “Revolver” in 1966″

December 4: The Beatles released Beatles For Sale in 1964

Beatles for Sale is the fourth studio album by the Beatles, it was released on 4 December 1964 and produced by George Martin. The album marked a minor turning point in the evolution of the Lennon -McCartney  partnership, John Lennon particularly now showing interest in composing songs of a more autobiographical nature. I’m a Loser shows Lennon for the first time coming under the influence of Bob Dylan, whom he met in New York while on tour, on 28 August 1964.

John, when you were in New York, what did you like best about it?

 I just like cities, you see, and preferably big ones. That’s why I liked it. And we met some good people like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, you know, and I enjoy meeting people I admire.

(Sept 13, 1964 via In The Life Of…The Beatles)

Beatles for Sale didn’t  produce a single for the UK – the non-album tracks I Feel Fine and She’s a Woman performed that role. Nevertheless, that coupling was followed up in the United States by Eight Days a Week, which became their seventh number one.

Continue reading “December 4: The Beatles released Beatles For Sale in 1964”

March 4: The Beatles released Real Love in 1996

“Real Love” is a song written by John Lennon, and recorded with overdubs by the three surviving Beatles in 1995 for release as part of The Beatles Anthology project. To date, it is the last released record of new material credited to the Beatles.

Lennon made six takes of the song in 1979 and 1980 with “Real Life”, a different song that merged with “Real Love”. The song was ignored until 1988 when the sixth take was used on the documentary soundtrack Imagine: John Lennon.
Continue reading “March 4: The Beatles released Real Love in 1996”

December 17: The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record 1965

Several off-key, a cappella versions of Yesterday are dispersed throughout the record, alongside Lennon’s Happy Christmas to Ya List’nas, Auld Lang Syne, a one-and-a-half-line version of the Four Tops’ It’s the Same Old Song, which they quickly stop before they violate the copyright, and an original poem titled Christmas Comes But Once a Year. A second version of Auld Lang Syne segues messily into a cover of Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction. I find this both funny and interesting and my favorite among the Christmas records.

Continue reading “December 17: The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record 1965”