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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

RARITIES (US) - side two

Inner gatefold
Penny Lane - Side two opens with the promotional single version of this song featuring an additional trumpet phrase at the very end which was deleted from the official release.

Helter Skelter - The Beatles, aka the "White Album," was the last album to be mixed for both mono and stereo.  Capitol did not release the mono version in the US, although a number of the tracks on it are quite distinct from their respective stereo mixes.  This song is a case in point, with different sounds being brought to the fore throughout.  But the big surprise comes when the song simply fades out and ends, instead of fading back in and concluding with Ringo's scream of "I've got blisters on my fingers!" as on the stereo version.

Don't Pass Me By - The mono mix of this "White Album" song is so fast that Ringo's voice sounds almost cartoon-like.  As on Helter Skelter, sounds different from those on the familiar stereo mix are highlighted.  There are also alternate fiddle parts, especially during the fadeout.  

The Inner Light - George's Indian excursion had only appeared as the B-side to Lady Madonna prior to its inclusion on both Rarities albums.

Across the Universe - This is the version which George Martin had produced for the World Wildlife Fund charity album, which had not been released in the States.

You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) - Like The Inner Light, this comic B-side to Let It Be had not appeared on an album until the Rarities compilations.

Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove - These few seconds of chatter from the end of the group's groundbreaking album did not make it onto American pressings.  The high-pitched dog whistle which preceded this on the British release is not included here.

Perhaps the best rarity of all was not one of the tracks, but rather the infamous butcher cover photo from the Capitol album "Yesterday"...and Today.  It was reprinted on the inner gatefold alongside some conventional shots of the group (including the replacement photo for that 1966 American album).

Capitol released the album on March 24th, 1980 - more than a year after the UK version first appeared in The Beatles Collection.

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