Sunday, October 11, 2009

Forgotten Beatles Week: "Rarities"

What was it?
A 1980 collection of Beatles tracks that were “rare” in America.

Rarities included songs that never appeared on Capitol Records in America, B-sides that never appeared on American albums, alternate mixes that were released internationally, and two new tracks created for this album.

Why is it forgotten?

When the Beatles catalog was released to CD in 1987, nine of this album’s fifteen tracks were part of it. (Non-album tracks were collected on Past Masters Volumes 1 and 2).

2009’s Beatles in Mono box-set collects three more tracks from Rarities (the two mono tracks from White Album, and the mono mix of Help! with a different lead vocal).

Of the three remaining tracks on Rarities not yet available on CD, two were specially manufactured for this album (Slightly different versions of “I am the Walrus”, and “Penny Lane”). A German mix of “And I Love Her” with a longer instrumental at the end is also very slightly different.

Fun Facts:
Rarities leaves out “I’m Down” - the B-Side to “Help!” which was never on a vinyl album in America. (It’s on the Past Masters CD, however).

Rarities was packaged in a gatefold-cover - the inside of which featured the rejected “Butcher” cover from Yesterday... and Today. There was speculation at the time (unconfirmed) that Capitol considered using the Butcher picture as the cover of Rarities - but chickened out.